Thursday, September 6, 2018

This Is Us...

That's Zechie up there.

You know... Z-Dogg. Zechariah Yohannes. My bubba.

I love that little guy so much.

And so many of you guys claim to as well.

And it's you guys - the ones who really know us and really do love our little homie - who will understand this fear right here.

Each day that passes brings me closer to the potential of this reality...

He's 14 years old , it's dusk and it's getting cold,
He's running late, wasn't doing what he was told;

The game ran long - he knew he might be in trouble,
But sorta worth it - cuz he landed a triple double;

Friends are packing up, high fives and headed home,
He put in his headphones for the walk back home alone;

He paused for a second - questioning - as if "well should he?"
But it was dusk and he was cold so he pulled on his favorite hoodie;

He started walking, smiled and said aloud,
"Triple double!" Mom won't care but dad will be proud!

The route home was about a mile - long but nothing hard,
He could shorten it though - if he cut through a few yards;

He was running late - and the lock wasn't on the gate,
It made his path straight - honestly? No debate;

He ran through. Quietly shut the gate behind him,
"You're late" - a text alert from home just to remind him;

One more yard to go, Ms. Jones - she shouldn't care,
She always waved at him and admired his puffy hair;

But tonight he had in braids - Ms. Jones didn't recognize,
Saw him through her window - thought "he's here to burglarize!"

Rounding the last corner flashing lights bathed his street,
Cars parked, guns drawn, "Show us your hands and feet!"

Panic. All these thoughts ran through his head,
All the things his parents said to help him not end up dead;

Hands trembling. "Dad will help - and I know he's at home"
As he reached into his pocket to pull out his cellular phone;

And there he stood - drenched in streetlights feeling afraid,
Baggy shorts, headphones and a hoodie up over his braids;

He had already dialed as the phone came up near his ear,
"Dad... help!" - the last words his family would hear;

A judgment call was made. Or maybe a bias reaction,
Being brown, baggy and braided seems like the only infraction;

And that night... it was dusk and getting cold,
When 27 bullets ended the life of a 14 year old.

This is who we are... and these are the fears that we feel every day as we parent these awesome gifts from God towards an adulthood in a country that simply doesn't always see them the way we do.

So hate us. Protest the protests. Unfriend us, block us,turn your backs on us or stay dead silent on the whole thing.

But know that we simply cannot do that with you... because...

This is us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This poem made me cry because it's like you took everything my husband and I are afraid of for our 3 Ethiopians. We homeschool because we are scared of school shootings. Now all the violence against black boys. We have taught our kids to stop, no hands in pockets, be respectful to police, but its still a crazy world. Thanks Tymm for always keeping it real. We LOVE your family!

Blessings from Arizona