Dear Brother, Poetry by Rani Powell

Everyday, when I tell you to be careful,
I’m not saying it just to say it
I’m saying it because this world doesn’t love you, no
Because you are only 8 now but soon you will be older
And then baby boy, the world will be much colder
They will not see you as I do,
with your warm eyes and caramel skin,
with your blue-rimmed glasses and unfunny jokes,
the curls in your hair and easy smile, no.
They see you as a Black Man.

Genre: Family, Love

Dear Brother by Rani Powell

To my brother

Everyday, when I tell you to be careful,
I’m not saying it just to say it
I’m saying it because this world doesn’t love you, no
Because you are only 8 now but soon you will be older
And then baby boy, the world will be much colder
They will not see you as I do,
with your warm eyes and caramel skin,
with your blue-rimmed glasses and unfunny jokes,
the curls in your hair and easy smile, no.
They see you as a Black Man.
As a menace to everything their good, clean society has.
The same society that was built on our father’s blood.
But it does not belong to you and you do not belong in it.

Everyday, when I tell you to be careful
I’m not saying it just to say it
I’m saying it because God help me,
you will not be the next news story
My heart would break to see your name up there with
Anthony, Eric, Freddie, Jordan, Kendrec, Kimani,
Michael, Tamir, Tony, Trayvon, Tyree, Wendell.
You are seen as a threat before you are seen as a person.
Your Blackness scares them.
They have already decided that you are nothing but a hood-rat,
nothing but a child-support baby, nothing but a tagging truant,
sagging pants, gang signs getting thrown up, two gun-shots in the air,
Crips and Blood running in the streets of a people who have already
breathed life and soul into this country.

Everyday, when I tell you to be careful,
I’m not saying it just to say it.
I’m saying it because your skin makes you a target.
And all it takes is ignorance, a bullet and a badge
to take you away from me.

 

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