POETRY READING: Black Night Sky, by Paula Shaffer

Performed by Allison Kampf

black night sky {genre: fear}
paula shaffer

there is a fear my son will die today
because his skin is black as night

black night sky

that darker fear that whites so dread;
how dare my son dare to breathe,
dare to live

reach for the sky

play by the rules so self-confined;
the “talk” is clear as constant rain,
that reminder of fear each time you leave
your brown skin marked as sin

auto-rejected from the day of birth
your dark skin the color of Earth

i grieve for you with constant fear,
i cry for you when you leave,
i apologize for those ugly clouds
that rue your day, existence’s theme

racism so deep, it never bends
its darkness cast because of skin

i grieve for sons who won’t come home,
laid to rest in a pit of degrade

civil unrest because of skin
unleashes fear you won’t obey

and one more black boy dies today

his last words: i can’t breathe