black lives matter, grief, Gwendolyn Brooks, love of a mother for a child, poetry, Racisim, sad endings, The Last Quatrain Of The Ballad Of Emmett Till

“We” and “Them”

We are racist. It’s obvious, painfully so.

History is on repeat. Instead of learning from it we demonstrate a shameful repetition of our ignorance.

Those left grieving know its pain.

The Last Quatrain Of The Ballad Of Emmett Till, by Gwendolyn Brooks,

    (after the murder,
    after the burial)

Emmett’s mother is a pretty-faced thing;
    the tint of pulled taffy.
She sits in a red room,
    drinking black coffee.
She kisses her killed boy.
    And she is sorry.
Chaos in windy grays
    through a red prairie.

This poem is a snapshot of grief. A mother grieving the loss of her son who, due to the color of his skin, undue violence was used against which led to his death. The event in this poem occurred in 1955, or was it yesterday.

The person, the year are different, the rest is sadly familiar.

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