07 July 2016

fear and rage

Already they have begun to spin
to twist the story into its usual shape
formerly familiar, suddenly terrifying
because how many others have we
dismissed because this was the only
story told:  armed black man
shots were fired              handgun
recovered at the scene.

How many times did we not know
the details not reported by police accounts
routine traffic stop      child in the car
first aid not immediately rendered
complying with police request  for
license and registration when shot
by police for moving while carrying
a declared and legally permitted weapon?

This story doesn't make sense.  I don't
 want it to be true of this incident in a place
I know and have been let alone other places
I don't know for other people innocent
of any capital  crimes.

How many times have people
gotten away with murder hiding
behind this traditional narrative
we have accepted, all important
facts warped to fit its shape, slicing
off the overhanging edges of truth
with the  careless knife of power?

How terrifying this is, this proof
that even if you do everything right -
young, employed steadily, out with 
your family getting ready to celebrate
your birthday - if you are a black man, 
this is how that day in your life can end:  
you dead because someone 
felt threatened because you 
were doing what they 
told you to do, what you 
were supposed
to do, so what
are we supposed
to do now?