Runner-up-The Booksie 2017 Poetry Competition Runner-up-The Booksie 2017 Poetry Competition

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A poem written for Freddie & Trayvon & Eric & Tamir & Philando & Michael & Terrence & Jordan & men that look like me.

Get up. Get up.

Why are you here?

Did you deserve it?

Perhaps you just longed to be with someone who understood you –

Understood what it was like to be cracked and worn, battle lines drawn down your back.

I can feel your heart beat slow.

Breath desperate on my cheek.

Blood sticky and Crimson.

The only comfort I have to offer is the warmth of my skin,

which I hope reminds you of your mother holding you as a child

and of summer days, innocent in the front yard with your brothers dreaming

American dreams of refuge inside white picket fences.

I can feel your tears

and I wish I could promise they wouldn’t be in vain —

That they would fall and that from them trees would grow and provide shade and color

and sweetness to your children.

But alas. I am just pavement.

And you are just a man.

And your tears are just salt.

There is no magic to be found here.  

Get up. 

Submitted: June 01, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Perry Landers. All rights reserved.

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Poem / Non-Fiction