A Requiem for Breonna Taylor

A poem and commentary.

he other day I was standing in line at a local meat market when I noticed a young African American father with his daughter. He was buying her crab legs. I am sure it was her birthday, and he wanted to treat his little girl with a special meal. He was attentive, and she was the center of his attention. It was a beautiful scene.

However, as I stood there watching this young father, I thought about all he probably wants for his black daughter. I am sure he wants her to have every opportunity to succeed.

She looked so innocent with her father. Not a care in the world because all she wanted was to be in his presence. However, in the same thought, I considered how he would be required to destroy that innocence and explain how the world treats black females.

Her safety, unfortunately, is more critical than her innocence. Why? Because of names like Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and Atatiana Jefferson.

The children of black parents cannot afford not to talk about the police and staying alive during a traffic stop. We must advise them about the state of affairs in America.

My daughter was going to work a few days ago when she called me with anger layering her voice. She was upset at what she saw on her drive. On the corner was a group of Blue Lives Matter protestors.

She felt the worthlessness that America attaches to black lives. At that moment, she decided to use the most potent weapon she has-her voice. She rolled down the window and screamed, “Justice for Breonna Taylor.” It’s hard to understand why some in America refuse to admit the problems with the police in America. It’s discouraging and its a disgrace my children must feel this way in their own country.

She had her say at that moment and continued on her way.

My wife struggles with the Taylor verdict. She is a black woman who is raising a black daughter. The realization that a police officer can take her child’s life in such a violent and callous way saddens her. I’ve witnessed her drop tears for not only our daughter but the daughters that never made it home.

White supremacy and racism have made it clear that Black Lives don’t matter. We don’t deserve justice. If we are killed by the police and have a criminal record that becomes a part of the discussion. A criminal record supersedes our humanity. When the police murdered George Floyd on Memorial Day, it wasn’t long before some tried to change the narrative to his prison sentence. Being a convicted felon isn’t a death sentence.

Breonna was gunned down in her apartment late at night. She was sleeping peacefully, a right we all deserve, until several cops burst in and opened fire. The police murdered her in the prime of her life.

However, Breonna once was an innocent little girl. Probably very similar to the young lady I observed while standing in line, but I am sure her innocence disappeared when she learned how her gender and race leads to her marginalization in America.

Below is a poem I wrote for her.

Say her name
Understand the game
It’s rigged
Justice served cold and unfeeling
Meaningless to black people
Like me

Broken down by racism
It’s the mission
Of a nation
Built on our ancestors’ blood
Which considers us no good
to erase the race

Marching into darkness
As Breonna becomes another hashtag
And protesters carry a Black Lives Matter flag
Her mother weeps and wrings her hands
Joining other black parents in this ugly band
Singing the Blues of injustice
Why must we continue to witness the ugliness

I am tired of talking about cops
Slave catchers in blue
Who continues to rob us of our humanity and
devalue my worth to our society
Tired of seasoning the ground of America
with son’s and daughters souls

Broken into pieces
trying to put our spirits back together
but resolve decreased
as bullets continue to rain down
Seeking to dodge the carnage
but into fits of emotion I breakdown
crying tears of a hideous clown
no humor here
only fear that one of our children may be next

Estacious(Charles White) is a 23-year educator. He began writing over 25 years ago. His work experience encompasses managing schools and teaching a variety of subjects. His passions are poetry, short fiction, playwrighting, and non-fiction. He won one of six prizes in the Rockford play festival for his play “Incarcerated Christmas.” He is married with three children and a native of New Orleans. Email: estaciousw1914@yahoo.com

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Estacious(Charles White)

Written by

I am a southern writer and teacher living in the midwest. I focus on education, poetry, and fiction. I am an award-winning playwright. estaciousw1914@yahoo.com

Afro Scribe

Musings of race, education, and the human condition told thru poetry, short fiction, and essays

Estacious(Charles White)

Written by

I am a southern writer and teacher living in the midwest. I focus on education, poetry, and fiction. I am an award-winning playwright. estaciousw1914@yahoo.com

Afro Scribe

Musings of race, education, and the human condition told thru poetry, short fiction, and essays

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