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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Endangered At 17: Poem For Trayvon Martin

I remember being 17, living on Lays
Potato chips, chili dogs and Wonder bread…
Would never be caught dead
Or seen without
My Swedish knits and
Chuck Taylors… with Stevie
Wonder blasting Superstition
In my head. I remember

Playing Spades, and scratching myself in
“Nasty” places, full of raging
Hormones, adrenaline and
Silent fear. I remember how it feels

To live in Black skin. Being told
By my mother, I was “beautiful.”
Being told by teachers, I was “Artistic”
And yes even “Gifted…” but
Never once told I was invincible. I remember this
As surely as I recall walking
Home from the movies, at night, and

Being stopped by local cops
Because I fit the descript
Of some hot-
Wired black boy who might just
Was up to some no good,
Criminally-minded shit,
When it was neither my behavior,
My nature,
Nor my actions but
The color of my skin which
Dictated this.

I remember feeling diminished, and
Embittered, enraged,
And endangered for the first time
At age 17... when I should have felt
Young and wild and free
And full of possibilities… Like you,

Angelic-faced manchild
Of a brown-skin hue. Almost
Brand new in the world,
Caught up inside that swirl of
Confusion... and yet
Another senseless
Victim to the paranoia of
Another racist fool.


Did you fit that tragic
Descript too, Trayvon?
Hoodie-clad and armed with
Skittles and iced tea? How dangerous!


How deadly
You must be. How deadly!
How..? Deadly?

How dead.



© 2012 by L.M.Ross moaningmanblues All Rights Reserved