Monday, March 19, 2012

Poem for Trayvon Martin


In America, you see, there is nothing
that we lack. We work, we rise;
we are all free. Kick your heels up!

Paint the town! unless you happen to be black—
in which case, better quiet down
and be prepared to show your hands.

You can buy Skittles and iced tea,
walk freely through the neighborhoods—
unless you happen to be black,

in which case, some local quack
can put a bullet in your chest
and leave you—seventeen, facedown,

dying in manicured green grass
he did not like you walking on
because you happened to be black,

young, and male within a gated town
that wasn’t. When you get up
to Heaven’s gate, and get to thinking,

gazing down, about the country
you just left, whether it was bad or good,
I tell you, Trayvon: Ask around.

See if those who claim it’s good
and died peaceful in their beds at night
mostly happened to be white,

and those who turn away, distraught,
who strain their eyes through the cloud
for safety that they never found,

just so happened to be black.
And if you see that other fresh-faced kid
who had a sweet tooth like your own,

and sauntered jaunty into town?
Ask Emmett what his Money bought.
It was not a graduation gown.


Anonymous said...

Love this....brought tears to my eyes!!!! Thsi was a recommended read from a common friend we have Ms Judy in France!! Thanks for writing such a profound poem!!!!

M. C. Allan said...

Thank you for dropping by and for the kind comment. Let's hope that justice is served in this case.

Anonymous said...

i was inspired to write a poem as well

for Trayvon Martin

A black teen murdered
I apologize for not being there
with a loaded gun in my hands
Although you may think no one heard you
I heard you and hear you loud and clear
Crying out for help
Your last words

We are vulnerable
My heart goes out to your mother
Tears can’t explain
My heart goes out to your father
and family
What can I do to make this end?
Maybe what we haven’t done
The means justifies the end
In this land
My heart goes out to all the people
You will never know that care for you
That fights for you everyday

Your death will not be in vain
If I were there
If we were there
If your mother was there
We would have done something
I would have done something
I still want to do something
I have to do something
Your death will not
Die in vain; it will be in our pain
Our strength, our cause, in our names
We will not stand for this any longer

No black child is safe
If we send no message
Are we that soft?
I ponder with concern
Hours have gone by
Little brother,
Whatever your Wishes
This has come to an end
You are not the only one
Who has died or will die
This is war my little friend
Where black women cry
And black men die
It has been this way
For a while now

You are part of the reminder
One that reignites the souls of black folk
And I wonder
Did you ever know Malcolm X?
He died like you
From a bullet
By racist hands
Racist systems
And racist plans

He only wanted skittles and tea
I like skittles too Tray and sweet tea
Yet we die because we refuse to kill
How does that make you feel?
Angry or scared
Others have died as well
How does that make you feel?
Angry or scared?
I feel anger nothing more

M. C. Allan said...

Thank you for the comment and for your poem. It's really a terrible case and I can't imagine how scared this poor kid would have been, and how devastated his family must be. I am glad to see so many people moved to speak out about it, but just hope that we won't have continued incidents like this that require it!