Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mother of a black boy

My son told me, when he was four
or five, that
If I threw my heart in the river
I would change
the world. I guess 
I really don't have a choice 
in the matter, my son is 8 

now, climbs mountains, fences,
stays away from gated
communities and the like, 
I have yet to tell him that I am not so
concerned about his cavities
while I instruct to get a bag of plain
chips and no drink
when he, big man,
walks to the store half-
a block from my house
I haven't taught him how to

defer, politely, yield, stop
my son goes hard
and so I question
If I fucked up
if I made him think 
things were like a skittle commercial
though there are no
random gun fights in 
skittle commercials
and there are no frightened black boys with hoodies
and my son, 
middle name Courage
is often frightened
tugs his hoodie round his face
like a security blanket
trying to hide

vulnerability from me
when he asks me
if that is
another gunshot
and should he stay away from the windows
and what is death like
and what is it like to get shot

and why isn't it safe?
and he trembles just a bit and draws in on himself like a wind just chilled him and
now even if I hold him real tight
he still trembles a bit
cause the wind speaks to him
like I'm not even there.

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