Here is something I want you to hear, white people.
You are free. But we… are loose.

These the words of a mother

whose daughter shipped overseas
to lay down her life
for wretches like me.

We print
swim times for the man
who raped an unconscious girl
behind a dumpster. But
when a black man
is shot for owning a gun
and uh… looking
a lot like our suspect
(with that wide nose),

we print his record,

pick the picture that aligns,
and mine his lifetime
for proof of error
to justify state-sanctioned

As daughter, as soldier,
as black woman of these States,
you could say she’s conflicted.

Her life
for nebulous crib of country,
risking for all names, sorts, types, tracks,
religions and notions, occupations,
all strata, shades and distortions.
They cling to the same home.
She comes back conflicted.

Majored in psychology,
been serving overseas,
and still I feel they hate me.

In the supermarkets they follow me.
In their homes they chastise me.
And at traffic stops they are allowed
to kill me.

Still she gives all
for those who will never see
past her skin, won’t ever see
through it, some days
can’t even bother to look at it.

A mother needs no microphone.
Outside the Governor’s Mansion
after the murder of Philando Castile,
she pleads, grief flying from her eyes,
throat lacerated with worry,
pleads for something to give, and soon,
before her daughter dies


Written by Kaleb Worst, Distant Beat.