Perspective

I just want to be left alone
To go outside and not be ran up on
I want to feel protected when I see police
Not like if they catch me alone they might kill me
I don’t deserve that no one does
For the same reason Rosa kept her place on that bus
I am not less than a white male
I don’t belong in the cages you refer to as jail
My skin tone does not render me useless
I wasn’t born to hang from nooses
I’m not a thing for cops to kill and be abusive
My skin may be dark
But their hearts are darker
I should not be a civil rights martyr
I’m Eric a father and husband
I should not have been choked to death like my life meant nothing
I am Michael a son and a brother
I should not have been shot nor should my parents have to suffer
I am Trayvon and I just wanted to go home
My friend should not have heard me die on the phone
I am Tamir and I just wanted to play
The police shouldn’t have killed me and let my body lay
If I could be white for just an hour
I’d tell the police how #BlackLivesMatter just as much as ours
But I’m black for the rest of my life and that’s fine with me
I just ask that police protect our communities peacefully

Still Queens

Ebony toned goddess
Summer or winter
Your desire is the hottest
Royalty in your veins
But your persona is modest
Beautifully built queen
I just need you to know
You’re worth more than everything
Hips switching in rhythm
The song of your sway is what I sing
Value in every word that leaves your lips
Spirits in your opinions
I’m just trying to take a sip
Inebriated by your presence
Silver and gold should be the toll
To pay for your life lessons
Guess that’s why I’m sweating
Right before I send you this text message.
Nubian beauty
For whatever it may mean
Just want you to know you’re still a queen

Untitled

Always and forever, right?
Hearts are forever ice
Cold as the arctic
Whenever you dealing with hardships
Your brain driving you insane you know where you can park it
Thoughts of me when you roll up and spark it
Or sipping liquor or whatever
One conversation and our ties were severed
Cut entirely off like a quadriplegic
Said you could have all of me but you didn’t believe it
Guess now I know to stay at home like Lebron in Cleveland

Cole Too

I’ve seen spirits.
Never met them nor spoke.
But been in there company.
We’ve looked eye to figure
Some were even recognizable

Grandmother, Pop, aunt Ethel.
I watched them watch me.
Uninterrupted analysis of each other
I noticed them, they knew me

They’ve watched me grow
Skinny and big ears
Now they see my progress
Tall, healthy as an ox

Their spirits protect me
Guide me
Nurture me
I’ve seen spirits.

Cole

Competing constantly to be FIRST
Thinking about it all night, can’t sleep for a SECOND
Get paid the beginning of the month but broke by the THIRD
Stressing more and more henceFORTH
I’m to the point I feel like I need to drink a FIFTH
Drained all 5 senses I’m searching for the SIXTH

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

In 4th grade I recited this poem for a project and since Langston Hughes has always been my favorite poet. If you haven’t already I encourage you to read into his works as well as his history. Hope you all can appreciate this poem as much as I do.

-T.Todd