Poetry by Noemi D

When my babies were born I was afraid.
Their tiny brown bodies so fragile
that even a hand placed too low
or too high
would fail to support their necks
and they would break.
They grew as strong and as American as the trunks of apple trees
but still I am afraid
of the intentional placement of knees
on brown and black necks
not fragile but weakened
by these chains that don’t look heavy until you’ve worn them a hundred years.
I watched my babies as they slept
my heart stopped each time their chests took a millisecond too long to rise
but they always did rise, and then I too could breathe again.
To suffocate must feel
like you are drowning slowly
like the air is right there if you could just reach the surface
if only the blurry hands and voices begging for your breath were strong enough to break through and save you.
Instead only the black pavement held you like a mother’s chest until there was no more sky.
And the strange slow violence of your murder played again and again like nursery rhymes
like prayer
reminding us to choose between breath and fear.

Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

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