Every Morning

He wakes up.

And starts to get ready for his day.

He brushes his teeth 

Because is mama always said she wouldn’t let any son of hers go out with booty breath.

He shaves his face.

Just like she had always taught him

Far better than any man ever could.

Or at least,

She tried her best.

He took out the nice shirt and pants his mama had pressed for him

She said no son of hers would go out lookin ragged in unpressed clothes.

He thanked her.

He looked in the mirror at the image staring back at him.

He looked at the clean-shaven face,

Pearly white teeth,

And the freshly pressed shirt

Over his dark skin.

He squared his shoulders

Because no son of his mamas should walk anything but tall.


Little does he know

His mama’s been up for hours.

Another boy dead in the street on the news.

She remembered the first time she brought home 

Her beautiful son.

He was a


Beautiful boy

In his eyes

She saw all the pain he knew he would see

She saw all that struggle she knew he would face.

And it terrified her.

Because she loved him with every fiber of her being

Every tooth and nail

Every pore 

Every tear.

So she pressed his shirts 

And made sure he brushed his teeth

Taught him please and thank you

And sir and ma’am

Made him stand tall

And put a good head on his shoulders

And hoped, it would be enough.

Because what do you tell your son to protect him from dying?

When who knows if the other mamas will teach their white children to stop the killing.




Every morning

She makes him kiss her goodbye

As he walks out the door 

Into the world.

Every morning she prays

That it is not the last time she sees her son

Who is now a





Every morning 

He kisses his mother goodbye

Because she taught him how to be a man

Better than any man ever could.

Or at least,

She tried her best.

And he stands tall

Because he is proud to be her son


This poem is about: 
My community
My country


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