Tears for Trayvon

by Ashley Mintz

what was your favorite color skittle, little boy?
not yet a man but somewhere in the middle
still so innocent
why would they use the color of your skin to make jokes and riddles?
the world is ignorant
yet, you had a bag of candy and it
in your hands
you had your life before you but centuries of hate on your shoulders
and as you got older, did the world seem a little more cold?
it's a little harder sometimes for those of us with more color on our faces
so many scars have traveled through bloodlines from previous generations
while new wounds unravel you, trying to replace them
and although we're trying to, we can't escape them
how many more bullets will meet brown-toned chests?
those who didn't think to wear bullet-proof vests
how many more times should we hear the word nigger 
before they figure out that 
we are equal
we are people
and how many more killers will go free before we are extinct?
these perfectly precious lives, 
they are spilling our blood like running water 
wasted down a kitchen sink
and all for the hate they choose to believe in
all the while, they refuse to question the reasons
i believe hate is learned like school book readin'
i believe his hate was learned 
and his history, his story 
became so riddled with such belittling theories
that when it met with yours, we saw history repeat, and so clearly 
our past is more like our present
and the steps that we've taken were really just to dead ends
and the future looks like more regretting
for the things we haven't changed 
from our pasts to which we are always indebted
even when there's a chance to reset it
instead we push repeat and play the same duets
wish for change but wait for someone else to do it
we say we're all the same 
but we act like strangers when it's time to prove it
borders no longer separate only countries and states
they separate race from race
invisible borders that feed hate while love is left starving to death
empty plate
he claims he pulled the trigger to keep safe
but he pursued, irate and ready to berate you
because the color of your skin 
triggered the hate that he so closely relates to
and in that split second decision 
where the position of your fate was in a state of transition
he let his hate choose
and now the world will never know the ways you could have, 
perhaps would have made it better
and i hope he never has the nerve to pull his hood 
over his head to shield himself from bad weather
because those are your tears trying wash away his hate
trying to heal your own and our pain

Tears for Trayvon by Ashley Mintz

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