Whose Lives Matter

mike brown trayvon martin24 November 2014 – A grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri has decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson, the white policeman who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen

Around the country cities roil, surging with an ache and a cry, descendants of chains, of hopes, of hangings, of sit-ins, sons and daughters of daily prayers, arms raised to receive an inheritance of tears, black and white and Brown.

I sit inside, far from any protest, days away from a holiday about thanks. I read page after page after page of comments on twitter — it’s the fast food of thought, I’m not hungry anymore but neither am I full. I turn away from one screen to another to watch a black President who tonight looks pale as he urges calm, and my daughter sleeps.

Let her sleep, and sleep. When she wakes up, I’ll do everything I can to smile,

because it only takes a couple of murders of young black boys to fear a thousand more, it only takes a few minutes to remember the hours Michael lay there in the street, it only takes one sweet thing on the tip of my tongue to remember a packet of Skittles and Trayvon walking home in the dark.

And even as I write, I fear — against the inadequacy of speech, against the consuming grief, against the anger and the police — what are a few more words?

And what is this — a poem? I don’t know. Lately, any words I manage to put down with intention are a prayer, any words that carry the coded language of my heart, a song.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jaiah says:

    Beautiful. Thank you.

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