INMATE POEMS

Dead, Black, And Unarmed, by Joshua Hairston

Officer, Please! Officer, Please! –
In your humanity, grant me a moment to breathe –
Startled, even jarred; why so harsh of an arrival? I can hardly believe –
Someone called, saying they saw, a StrAnGe man AcTiNg SusPiciOuSly –
In all honesty, I am unable to authenticate such mentionings –
Unless ‘strange means BLACK, by ‘suspicious, does one mean –
prodding a car far too nice, parked along the wrong street –
Officer, Listen! Officer, Please! –
Hands held high, scared senseless, making every endeavor to freeze –
They train you: Don’t Think, Aim & Squeeze –
They do not train you HOW to think, Only to aim and squeeze –
Officer, Please! Officer, Please! –
Listen, on my way to work, I misplaced my keys –
I searched every place, one would think they’d be –
This house is my in-laws home, where I’ve stayed the week –
To most of their neighbors I’m known, though they play afraid to speak –
Socially Informed, so I’m prepared to be Screened, –
Stopped and Frisked, Unconstitutional!, How I wish that were written for me –
Alarmed by your impatience, your agitation has peaked –
My license and registration are in the compartment, between the seats –
When I Reach, Please Don’t Mistake For “Piece”! –
Officer, Please! Officer, Please! –
It is historically uniform for you, What commonly seen still seems abnormal to me –
Guns drawn on unarmed, spawn of Freed ~
Men whose bones, carried like huge stones this country’s greed –
This Nation’s systemic attempt to excrete “The Slave Trade’s Debris” –
Officer, Please! Officer, Please! –
Your aggression, My confusion unhappily meet –
leaving millions asking, did this have to be –
Catastrophe, Catastrophe –
Another Freed slave slain at The Catcher’s feet –

Joshua Hairston
DOC #1411138

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