Time and Place

by Mwatabu S. Okantah

we see you--
your face
with that youthful light in your eyes.
your picture haunts our
(almost nightly ...)
like so many
shot down before you.
this same pain too long in our

what makes you
so special?
or, are you just another
in a very long
America began profiling us
in 1619 when
"20 odd negroes" were traded at Jamestown
for supplies.

i look at my twin sons (in their
hoodies, eating skittles,
drinking iced tea ...) and i see
you are my son--
you are our

in death
you have become
more than you could have been
in life.
your star
shines black and bright in our sky.
your name rings

we now say Trayvon for all the nameless,
for those whose faces
make the nightly
tv news,
for those who sleep
the disturbed sleep of un-
marked graves:

we hear their voices
cry out
when we look into 
your why.

our anger rises in the knowing
another young black man
is nothing new.
you are not the first.
you will not be the last.
for too many of us
this time
is still not the right time.
this place 
the right place ...

          Trayvon Martin

Time and Place by Mwatabu S. Okantah

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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