A Poem for Trayvon Martin / by Shanelle Gabriel

 #5YearsLater #TrayvonMartin #restinpeace


If it were me

Your hoodie

Your youth

The silent darkness

Would not have made me cross the street

Tighten my walk

Quicken my speed

It's the south so I'd like to think

We'd have exchanged some pleasantries

Maybe a 'G'nite' or nod as you passed me

Your mother seems like she

Would have taught you when you pass an adult

It's proper to speak


You were perfectly preteen

The type of kid

Who always picked the wrong moment to laugh

Who had cloudless dreams

Teachers mistaking passion for sass

Called you "Bright boy"

But tossed it behind "difficult" and "distracts others in class"

Maybe they didn't see the canvas in you

Just as they refuse to

With multitudes of Black students like you


I could have been one of the people

To help them see you're the foundation of something beautiful

While you sketched your life

They painted your hands red

Refused to let you be primed

Demonized you

Before the blood in the Florida concrete dried

Maybe if I saw your fight

Through my window

Maybe I wouldn't have stayed inside

Or maybe I would have just watched and cried

Maybe I would've done something heroic

Maybe you wouldn't have died

Maybe you wouldn't have been another lost Black life

Maybe the world we live in wouldn't have felt it justified

I look at your picture and think

Maybe I might have called you one of my babies

As I do every young person I meet

Maybe there are too many maybes

Not much certainty

When it comes to how long our children's hearts are allowed to beat