Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stand Your Ground (Poem)

Stand Your Ground

     for Trayvon Martin

If you wear a hoodie, are 17,
are black, are male in America,

know the bullet is meant for you,
even if all you're carrying is iced

tea and Skittles. In imminent danger,
your life asserts no clearer claim

to matter more than the time
it takes the other guy to put himself

up to no good. You hear your girlfriend
insist you run; you tell her you will

walk fast, you're heading home,
anyway, but what do the police know,

except how hard it is to act
against the use of deadly force

once suspicion leaves your voice
stilled on that wet road in Sanford.

© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas

The more I learn about the fatal shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, the greater my sense of outrage. For those needing background, go here.

The poem's title refers to Florida's despicable "Stand Your Ground" law. Unfortunately, that law is only one among those of 21 other states.

Also of interest: "The Deaths of Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin: Meaningful or Misleading?", Reader's Alamanac, March 26, 2012; and "On Trayvon Martin", The Learning Network, The New York Times, March 26, 2012


Dawn Potter said...

Thanks for writing this.

Louise Gallagher said...

Thank you Maureen for your courage and willingness to speak up.

Ruth said...

There are so many things surrounding the tragedy that infuriate. We should not go gentle . . . , so thank you.

Kathleen said...

Thank you for your poem. This sad case is indeed too much like the Emmett Till case, isn't it? Why does this keep happening?

S. Etole said...

Your words do justice to the incredible injustice of this event.

Elizabeth Young said...

I am so glad you wrote about this Maureen, as it appears you not only speak for this young man, but for many who find themselves in similar circumstances. They are our youth, the voice of tomorrow. They are us.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I am glad that you wrote this piece--how have we come to a place of acceptance regarding the slaughter and imprisonment of our black youth--

Brian Miller said...

poignant piece...i know a few feelings about it...the more the story comes out the further it gets muddy but i know this...there is a kid dead...and it should not happen...

signed...bkm said...

Well written Maureen, I am glad you wrote it too..few can express the passion felt brought out in such a event ending in sorrow...bkm

emmett wheatfall said...

Please accept my profound thank you for this poetic composition. I have a 23 year old son. It seems prudent I should share your poem with him, Maureen. All our children are Trayvon Martin.

Beachanny said...

The longer and louder one protests the massive number of guns and lunatics who carry them, the more money gets poured into the NRA and the more the red states clamor against "big government" thinking the boogie man will come after them as if a rifle could stop a tank. Yet a handgun kills over 3000 children a year. My outrage is high too. You had the courage to write this fine protest poem. Kudos Maureen!

Megan Willome said...

This is powerful, Maureen. I especially like how you tied the title of the poem into the name of the law.

I have a son about Trayvon's age. He owns lots of hoodies.