black ruminations

 black ruminations

Some things are known before they are said

You can tell the formality

The rehearsed cadence in his voice

As a white man stands and delivers his brand of justice

The way he has been indoctrinated to believe that truth

And right lie in the hands and minds of those

With more power

Better arguments

More facts

And a better articulation

And more guns


My hair raised ever so gently on my arms

My mother crying in the phone

Telling me she worries

About bobby at night

In dark

Past a curfew of respectability

When good boys are home


My same mother once told me she

Wasn’t political

But I guess the personal 

The profound

The profane can pull it out of you

I asked though my tears

Where is my brother?


He gets on the phone slow scared unsure of what I will say


Not bob bob

Not his stage name of epic mind of lo


Do you see what your life is worth I ask

Yes he says

Then that is all that matters I say


I keep going back and forth between pain and anger

Tears and outrage

I just keep thinking God do you love us?

Then why isn’t our liberation top on the priority list

Before rising the sun

And pulling the moon out

Before snow fall

And dusk setting

And seasons changing

Why isn’t our liberation top on the to do list

Do you keep moving it around your calendar

Like I do the things I don’t really want to do


I keep thinking will this make us stop buying bobby shmurda

Will this remember black is beautiful

Call us back to black power like the 76 ebony magazine I found


Will we decide we are more than whitewashed faces

And salaries and degrees

More like kings and queens

More than soul food

And basketballs and running on fields

That we don’t own


I want our freedom

But I know it might cost

But tonight I would be willing to pay it

With my own body

Offer me on the cross like Jesus

Since god is a black woman anyway

Crucify me

Let me blood run in streets like black boys

Killed to soon

Anything to release all the tears I feel


Dear Mike.

We failed

We tried

The system beat us again

We are sorry

We thought this time

In your name we prayed

And danced

And worked

And organized

We believed


We cry about your death

What will we do for the boys who live

We cried about injustice

What will we give up for freedom


Harriet said she could have freed more if you

Convinced them they were slaves

Mike maybe you can break the chains


We cry miscarriage

But we abort the mission

Mike I’m praying your death gives us vision

Let it be the thing that helps us see

I don’t believe in justice

I believe in black

And being free

© October 2015

Journal of Lutheran Ethics

Volume 15, Issue 9