04 April 2012

Poem for my grandson (working title)

                                        Copyright 2012 by Rochelle Robinson

This poem in progress was inspired by the death of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012.  I have a son and a grandson, and they DO look like Trayvon Martin.

My little one
how do I tell you
without causing  fear
in your small
six-year old heart
that you
even now
are perceived by many
as a threat
as someone to fear?

My heart breaks just saying this.
The stress and anxiety I feel
is killing me…I know this.
Yet I cannot find
the right breath
the right moment of joy
love and equanimity
to make this all go away
to keep you safe
to make sure that you have equal
access to your pursuit of happiness
to your birthright…
you deserve better.

As I write this
I know that anyone wishing to cause you harm
is already my enemy
is someone in need of another framework
because the one they hold is centuries old.
Its picture and borders frayed,
torn from malice and murder
lynchings and burnings
intentional harm
jim crow
fugitive slave acts
constitutional amendments
laws that whites are not bound to honor
To protect your black body
Your black mind.
Strong. Intelligent. Black. Beautiful. Mind.

Poll taxes.
Tuskegee experiments.
Three strike laws.
Stand your ground.
Killing. young. black. males. with. impunity.
Firing. 28. shots. into. a. black. body. and. calling. it. self-defense.
Leaving. a. body. tagged/unidentified. before. notifying. next. of. kin.
Seventy-two.hour. hold. cause. black. life. is. no. life. at. all.
Complete and utter ignorance.
Ignorance. Utterly. Complete.
Your. life. means. more. to. me.
You deserve to be treated with dignity.

Oh, my sweet baby boy
you must know
I do not breathe easy.
Your father has survived 36 years.
I’ve prayed.
I’ve meditated and medicated.
I’ve cried.
I’ve worried.
To occupy a black body
is to occupy danger
is to occupy death
is to occupy the horror of being black.
he will never be
out of danger
we see much has remained the same.
little progress.
little change.

My brave little one
what manner of style
will place you
on amerikkka’s most wanted list?
Will it be your walk?
Your talk?
Your hair?
Your music?
The pride in your eyes
Mistaken for aggression?
Little progress.
Little change.
Will it change for you?

The pain I have
is too heavy a burden
for any one person to bear.
You are my life.
My heart and soul.
I need you to be here.
I need you to be free.
I need you to live unafraid.
To live your life out loud.
For me.
For you.
Your life means everything to me.
You are valued.
You are loved.
You are Love.

My darling baby
how do I explain that the real danger
is not you per se
nor your humanity.
no, the danger comes
from those who fear your skin color
who fear the remarkable human being that you are
that you will become.
Remarkable. Black. Male.
And for this
your life is worth less in 2012 than in 1612.
How do I tell you this my beloved?

I am afraid.


janaan said...

what a lucky grandson to have such a beautiful, fierce and loving spirit for a grandmother! much love and light to you!

roro said...

thank you, janaan...i love that lil man of mine :) miss you much!