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A poetic verse in response to the above image from the civil unrest in Philadelphia in the wake of the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. Our lives matter, as does our outrage.
A Verse for Walter Wallace and Black Outrage
…And when we say ‘no justice, no peace’/ we mean you should not expect a docile response to spilled blood/because keeping calm has never halted American carnage/when we take to the streets/ with mouths afire in rally against the state-sanctioned heist of a Black life/we ain’t just out there for our health/in fact, we are seeking answers as to why the vital signs of a once functioning body has been put on permanent pause/our curiosity is combustible/we are boiling over with questions/wondering why public servants respond to our cries for help with projectiles/we chant and march and probe for reasons that police protocol calls for our bodies to be put down/inquisitive about why our loved ones cannot be reasoned with/talked down/cared for in moments of distress/…Walter Wallace brought a knife to a crisis/his body was greeted by a gun fight that he had neither the weaponry or well-being to counter/they will talk about buildings set ablaze, looted property, broken curfews/the police report never goes into detail about the plundered Black body/or the theft of a father from his children/they will gauge our peacefulness while denying us justice/call us uncivil/kill us in our most vulnerable state/and be alarmed when our voices siren dissent to their destruction.
About the Author
Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be.