During my office hours all of last semester, only one student availed herself of extra help with her essays. This semester, none so far. So it's generally a time for me to grade papers but also to read from one of the many anthologies (book heaven) on the shelves in the shared offices. I read today a very nicely done anthology of African-American literature and came across this chilling poem / song of the late Billie Holiday. God reward those who struggled against oppression. It reminded me of a time that only "appears" distant. In real time, it was just yesterday. I say this because human blight cannot be framed as an "historical" moment. It is as it always has been, a struggle against a potential that disrespects time and context.Southern trees bear strange fruit,Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.Pastoral scene of the gallant south,The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,Here is a strange and bitter crop.