But–Had He Been A Man of Color . . .

this dated system
works for melanin-challenged
liars on the stand

there is no justice
for the black man or woman
there never will be

it’s easy when you
have what they are looking for
you get off scot-free


The American “criminal” justice system is an effing joke. How one can be absolved of all wrong-doing when it’s clearly present and lives have been lost because of it is a constant mind-blowing thing to me. But, really . . . I’m not shocked. Re: The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

What Am I Supposed to Feel? NaPoWriMo#28

Some of the plants in my best friend’s plant therapy room. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

What Am I Supposed To Feel?

I feel nothing.
I’m supposed to feel
something . . .
Something is supposed to
hit me, shake me,
break me into
some semblance of
acceptance — 
isn’t it?

But
there’s nothing there.
I want to be happy.
I want to feel relieved.
I want to celebrate like
the majority of this
world but I know
this is far from over.
The damage is done
and really, how do
we undo it?

Where can we start?
What needs to take place?
So many movements.
So many lives lost
and this one victory
tap-dances on our hearts
and it feels . . . 
other-worldly — as if
the programming of its
occurrence hasn’t reached
the highest ratings and
we’re still waiting for
the go-ahead to
breathe.

I still have unearthed
breaths tucked in from
unjustified killings
stabbing me in
my gut — I can’t find
an endpoint.
There is no safe
zone.

And people laugh
and clap their hands
loudly and join along
in the grand hoopla
of it all while I
shelter-in-place with my
damaged spirit.

Tell me, what am I
supposed to feel?
I carry this verdict
with me, bury it in
my faulty vision, blink
away the madness of it
all, then settle on
the unclear view.

“It’s a start,” someone
says and I can’t help
but hear my trapped voice
rebut, “It’s your start.
I’m finished.”


Justice delayed is justice denied. — William E. Gladstone


Originally published on Medium.

Please, Let My Brothers Live

A plea to the United States Justice system

Photo by nappy via Pexels

As an older sister, one who is significantly ahead in years, I fear for the lives of my five brothers. That fear never dies. It lingers in the pit of my belly — boiling over into a never-ending pain. I worry about them; their well-being is a constant focus of mine. I pray, without ceasing, worry, and then pray some more.

I know, as a believer, I am not supposed to worry. Once I’ve given my cares over to my Lord and Savior, those worries are not my own. But tell that to my heart. Tell that to my questioning mind. Tell that to the constant survival strategies that pop up throughout every day as I think of ways to keep them safe from afar.

Our lives are meaningless to the ones meant to protect them.

There is a long list of dangerous encounters and acts of police brutality that layers itself in and around the United States of America. We are losing brothers, sisters, and valuable members of our crumbling nation. The louder we scream in protest for change, the more we are muzzled.

I cannot watch many of the videos that have circulated, leaving us with the vivid details of some of these acts, but I can read about them. I feel a sense of incredible loss when I do.

We depend on a system that claims to act upon evidence presented and provide a favorable outcome. One that is justified. One that states those responsible for these heinous crimes will be dealt with accordingly. However, the system is beyond broken.

Justice is a concept of moral rightness based ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity and fairness, as well as the administration of the law, taking into account the inalienable and inborn rights of all human beings and citizens, the right of all people and individuals to equal protection before the law . . . — ScienceDaily

For generations, there has been no justice for Black people and people of color. 2020 will be over in four months, and the United States of America is dealing with the same issues that quelled the love for our nation back in the 1950s-1960s. We are struggling to have our voices heard. We are fighting a forever-fight and we are growing tired.

This is the same fight and we’re outnumbered.

I think of everyday occurrences, events that my brothers take part in and I start my prayer with, “Dear God: cloak them in your love. Please keep them safe in their coming and going and let them find their way home when their day is done.”

I know they’re aware their sister has been praying for them since their births, but now I pray because it feels like there is nothing more to do. We march. We organize peacefully. We shout. We speak eloquently. We fight harder. And to no avail.

We are struggling to have our voices heard. We are fighting a forever-fight and we are growing tired.

This all feels like some god-awful dream that plays on a loop, and no matter how hard I try to break free from it, I’m shackled with nowhere else to go. I am being forced to watch the demise of my people and made to fear for the Black men and women in my life.

I want to believe their lives matter just as much.

I have to. Deep down, I know there’s a priceless value to human life. I want to feel like my brothers’ lives matter just as much as their white counterparts. I want to believe that when they set out on a journey around their neighborhoods for whatever reason, they too, will get a chance to go back home . . . alive and unharmed.

Given the history of various police forces across this nation since their inception, I fear more for my brothers’ lives than the actual protection of them, and that should not be.

How many more will America maim? How many more will we see hanged from trees by the hands of their evildoers, then labeled as suicide? How many more cases will the courts treat as meaningless, pulling their weight for the killers vs. the victims? Will we ever have justice?

I want to feel like my brothers’ lives matter just as much as their white counterparts.


There have been so many tears. So many cries for help, understanding, and for our voices to be heard and still . . . there are no impactful results of which to speak.

I hope that if ever there is an encounter soon with “the law” for any of them, they will be protected and served. That there will be no immediate or long-lasting harm. That their character is assessed and the situation for which an officer has stopped them, would not end in their deaths.

I have one plea, please let my brothers live.

Please.


Originally published in Our Human Family via Medium.

On: The Lives of African-Americans & People of Color

Photo by Ezekixl Akinnewu via Pexels

You don’t understand the anger b/c you are not the target. Your life isn’t on the line every time you come in contact with those purposed to “protect” & “serve”. Don’t question our anger. It’s warranted & has been bottled up for eons. An explosion of epic proportions is brewing.

Stand with us or sit down.

Missed America: A Haiku in ten parts

135th Street YMCA Mural by Aaron Douglas — 1934


Missed America

A Haiku in ten parts


A torturous thing —
Living in one’s skin waiting
For the next bullet

A deep “virtual
Insanity” has gotten
The best of freedom

America, “land
Of the free, home of the brave,”
We backstab with love

This, a country that
Hails its flag as kings and queens
Over its people

They say they want us —
But spend their time keeping us
Buried above ground

Stifling, isn’t it?
How UnAmerican most
Americans are

We’re disposable —
That’s how it feels when folks drag
You out with the trash

Too many speakers —
Not enough listeners, so
Nothing’s getting done

Devastation hits —
strips away homes and loved ones,
His words are, “Good Luck!”

Priorities shift —
Other things take precedence
Over human lives


This poem is a part of “Equal People,” Our Human Family’s anthology of international poetry on equality and inclusivity.