As you ended our video call,
You suited up,
Just another day in that god forsaken place,
As soon as you stepped off the plane it felt like being in an oven.
What did you expect.
The boys and you all load up into the Humvee and take off with the rest of the Caravan.
Just another day.
Just another day…
There wasn’t supposed to be an explosion.
There weren’t supposed to be screams.
There wasn’t supposed to be any blood shed.
It was supposed to be just another day.
But all of that did happen.
And you were taken away from me and Mom and Dad and our little sister,
In an instant.
You were supposed to come home.
We were supposed to celebrate your birthday together,
Our sister baked you a cake for when you came home.
But… now you can’t,
And you won’t,
Because you’re gone.
And you can’t ever come back.
But know that we love you,
Know that I love you,
Know that I loved you, My Brother.
Most Importantly know that we miss you,
every waking moment.
Because you’re gone,
And we’ll never see you again.
Did I tell you Mom and Dad still pay your phone bill?
So that we can hear your voice on your voicemail recording when we miss you.
I do not know?
*A assignment was due in class. *
Every time a gun shoots
A tree looses its roots
Every time there is bloodshed
Along with it millions of tears are shed
Every time a heart is stabbed
Someone else’s life gets barren
As violence grows
Many more mothers moan
The sounds of destruction
Overpowers the voice of those
Who are innocent
Who suffer with no reason
Who beg for life
Who have heart full of innocence
Why do so much violence?
That the child’s cry cannot be heard
When his father is killed
Why do so much violence?
That a mother moans
Over her child’s dead remains
Why do so much violence
For winning any stupid battle
Which is taking lives
Of people who have wives
And mothers and children
When you can keep calm
Talk things out
Do whatever you can
To keep violence out
Because there is no sin as big as
I do not know?
Underneath my fingerprints of sorrow,
Between his determined and swift disclosure,
Few are spiteful for the sake of compassion.
Wide-eyed noise pierces the remarkable silence
While everyone around breathes a tender apology,
As he lies, slumbering tranquilly.
I do not know?
has plagued my home.
I was treated
Like a toothless comb.
Brother has told me
I am not a man,
But I walked away
Before anything began.
He laughed and laughed
While I hung my head,
So I turned around
To fight him instead.
I took a shot
At his evil smile.
He moved. I missed
By near a mile.
As he threw me down
& stomped my face
Into the ground.
A funny feeling
Grew in my heart,
Like fungus in darkness.
I fell apart.
Has gone berserk.
This funny feeling
Forced a smirk.
I found joy
In hitting him back.
I began to laugh
With each attack.
Then I took him
By his throat,
Putting an end
To how he'd gloat.
I took his knife
& swung it near.
I made the blade
Was never so fun.
He shouldn't breathe.
He couldn't run.
My kind kin,
Freedom is near.
Only my sin
May murder your drear.
Look to your left - Look to your right
Someone you’re looking at - Has paid the price
Either personally - Or through past generations
Yet still today, we have - Hurts and frustrations
Pioneers of the land - The Marches that went forth
For so many people - To be able to freely walk the earth
Young people pick up a book - Earn some knowledge
Get off the street corners - And into classrooms of a University or College
Pay it forward - Give it back
Education is key - Its not whack
Learn your heritage - From where you come
Know that this is - God’s home
Past struggles - Present issues
Hold your head high - Keep working toward your vision
There is something I don’t understand - Through every thing in the past
Why do our young brother’s - Kill one another
How can you look into the eyes - Of another human being
Pull the trigger - How can you be so mean?
Our people along with other races - Fought for our rights
To be able to live a fair life - I can’t fathom the reasoning of this strife
So many killings - Day after day
Brother killing brother - This just isn’t the way
Too many people have died - And sometimes it seems in vain
Because what we see on the news everyday or experience in life
Is completely insane!
Can someone explain to me - The mindset of our youth
I’m perplexed - So I’m looking for the truth
Why is there genocide? - So many homicides
And there is no hesitation - About the lives being taken
It angers my heart - It angers my soul
That people can so easily kill - That people are so bold
People listen to me - When I tell you
The Civil Rights Movement - Was to see us through
To get us to a better place - Although discrimination and racism still exists
It is very prevalent - With the Jena 6
Gang violence has taken the life - Of an innocent 10-year old boy
My prayers go out to the family - Of little Arthur Jones
Gun shots ring out - Now 14-year old Samuel is dead
Gun man came back in anger over a bike - And shot this young man in the head!
I lost my own brother this year (2007) - Because of senseless gun violence
And it’s getting worse too - R.I.P. little bro, we love you Cinque
U.S. Troops fighting a War - Overseas in Iraq
Make no mistake about it - Many have paid the price
IT IS TIME to walk through the door - Of a brand new light
We are a powerful people - When we stand together and fight
Not fight as in violence - But to have regard for human life
Never forgetting - Many paid the price
After the storm, my brother
(all gangly knees and elbows)
bore the brunt of its ferocious aftermath.
Every day after school
I watched his wiry biceps bulge a little
as his handsaw scritched against the tree
which had fallen diagonally across our front yard.
I witnessed the violence of metal on wood,
the violence of The King of the Mountain’s smirk
as he too watched, his greedy eyes
taking in my brother’s razor sharp collar bone,
with jaw set in furious concentration.
This imposed punishment was meant to goad my brother,
meant to tempt him to rage
so that the next time the stepdad slugged him
he would feel justified, holy even.
Kneeling on scratchy couch to watch
I scrunched my shoulders,
Folding into myself like an accordion,
gathering myself up to make of me something smaller;
I pressed my knees together
wrapping my arms around them
and lowered my head,
waiting for the sky to rain trees
with swollen trunks, and branches thrust downward
as if warding off a sickening impact with earth.
My brother, it seems,
must be punished for the crime of
for this the stepdad’s eyes shone bright,
bright as the heavy duty flashlights
he begrudgingly loaned my brother
so he could work far into the night.
His eyes fairly burned with lust—
The lust of sadism’s glee.
I saw him lick his lips;
You’d have thought he’d conjured up this
Columbus Day Storm all by himself
for the sole purpose
of proving to my brother
that he had no right
to co-exist with him in the same universe.
I watched until my eyes burned
and my head ached dully
and my brother, sweating and chilled,
laid down his saw
swiped his arm across his forehead,
and straightening up, met my wary gaze
with the scoured look
of shame whittled down into hatred,
sawn away into stumpy pieces like an old tree trunk.
After the storm my brother cleaned up nature’s wrath.
He stood a little taller and his eyes, when they met his abuser’s,
After the storm we feigned memory loss
Pretended that nothing had shifted in our family dynamic.
We sat down to meals silent and repressed and picked up our forks
as if the stepdad hadn’t just won a major battle,
as if my brother’s days in that household were not numbered.