06 July 2016

Melanin Matters

Everyday I feel I’m put on trial for existing
In this melanin-tinted skin I’m in
I never know when it could be the end
Because of the suspicion from years of traditions
That prompted fear when you saw my kin
Yes indeed, I’m about to go in

And though I’m known to be brilliant and witty,
and even on occasion, sometimes pretty
If I make a “wrong” move at an opportune time
What will be the narrative of my life?
Nothing of the truth will be what you find
Because posthumously will I be tried
With little evidence for every crime
And the story will state I was the one who defied

My brilliance, a faint recollection
But my predilection towards depression
Will be the section of my life highlighted
Forget about all the love and affection
Shown and how I gave
Or how I tried to face everyday brave
Even though most of those days
I was scared and afraid
Because when you’re my shade
You can bet the benefit of the doubt
Will be the first thing thrown out

“Well I guess we never really knew her”
Is what they will shout
And over my grave
my guilt will be contained
In the minds of those who never knew me
But the media will lead you to see
All of the darkest parts of the deepest part of me
And before my family would even be allowed to grieve
Others who never knew will lead them to believe
“If only she had,” and really that’s sad

But thankfully this isn’t my story
I’m here to shed light for the ones
Who are already in Glory
Because someone feared them
Or didn’t like their tone of voice
So they made a fatal choice
And now instead of families rejoicing
Over graduations and happy situations
Their loved ones are a hashtag

An empty soulless shell
A burial plot holds the remains
Of the hope and joy, dreams of fame
And what could have been
But fear the color of their skin
Is what did them in
Only when it seemed their
Lives were about to begin

But tell me I’ve made this up
That this holds no truth
That my observations lack proof
That if my people would just comply
But it’s a lie
And what kind of free society
Subscribes to Comply or Die?

So yes you’ll hear me say
Black Lives Matter
The “minority” comprises the majority
No matter what you say about “All lives”
And how they matter
Day in and day out we’ve learned
Through dreams and hopes shattered
That’s not really the case

It’s just a deflecting phrase
used to derail
A necessary conversation
About evil situations
That continue to occur
And you can be sure
I will continue to fight
Until all of our plight
Finds us unified
Or I’ll die
in the process of making it right

© Aisha N. Willis 2014/2016
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