Erren Kelly – 2 POEMS

Kim Porter, Police Officer

It was just a routine check
You were only going to search
his car, you saw his expired license tags
and a tree air freshener
hanging in the rear window
it would just be routine:
your 26 years of experience
never failed you
then a warrant check discovered
he had a warrant, a weapons
possession charge; he figured
he could outrun the law
you thought about your
partner being dragged down
the street
you pulled your tazer and
only it wasn’t a tazer
26 years experience
was supposed to come
though for you
You never called him
by his name
only ” The driver,”
The crocodile tears were enough, though
and the judge bought your sob story
she didn’t look at the life
she saw the other officer
being dragged down the road
she saw the 26 years experience
and she became blinded by
your tears
You apologized to the mother
but she wouldn’t forgive
why should she?
you wouldn’t even say his name
He was just ” The Driver.”
Say his name….
” If they would just stay still….”

Say his name….

it was just a mistake.
it was just a mistake
it was just a mistake….


Claudette Colvin ( The woman before Rosa Parks )

It wasn’t your fault history
didn’t favor you
America has always been
about style over substance
Image over talent
Even you agreed rosa parks
would’ve mascot a better
she was older, more reserved
articulate, light skinned and
middle class and a
a hard-working church woman
Not a 15 year old , dark-skinned
unmarried pregnant
The NAACP said you as the face
of the movement
would cause a firestorm
the white press would have had a field
so you deferred, and rosa parks
became the mother of civil rights
she was asked ” why you didn’t
get up?”
she replied, ” History kept me in that
seat. Harriet Tubman held me down
on the left, Sojourner Truth held me down
on the right.”


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