This is worse. Now there are scores more who are complict.

At the time of Trayvon's murder I was teaching a poetry workshop at our county correctional facility. I wrote a poem about it, but never posted it because it seemed too soon. Here it is, by way of apology from an old white woman who never had to have "the talk" with her son.

Young men breathing while black

We don't have to tell you

in your polished wingtips
and new blue suit,
that if you run
our pulse thrums in our throats
and twitches our trigger fingers.
Or that even if you are a CEO
on his way to a business meeting,
we suspect you
stole whatever it is you carry.

After your seven-year-old mind was blown
by some clown who spewed hate
all over you like spittle from his lips,
Your mother explained it. So

you knew,
even before your father told you --
that if a boy could be harangued
while Snow White held his hand,
then nowhere or when is ever safe
and at some points, you will surely be accosted
on your own brick-sided street.

You knew
before your uncle told you,
that even if you are returning home
from the corner store, or the battlefield,
slumped over, eyes cast down
unsassy with the weight of our suspicions
sagging from your shoulders --

we might still shoot you.

Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 6:12 AM PT: I went to bed and woke up still angry, still heartsick, to find my diary on the rec list. Though this is sure not how I envisioned my first trip here, I do thank you for your appreciation of the poem.  

Originally posted to snpsmom on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, Black Kos community, and Community Spotlight.

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