What Matters to Mothers

Martin Jeffries, 13

Wild thing, raised to die

runnin’ errands, runnin’numbers

corner to corner, street to street

run fast, fast, couldn’t outrun Mistah Death.


Samuel DuBois Washington, 15

I knew the odds were bad─

worked overtime for years,

sent him to a private school.

Pill party. Overdose. Gone.


Malik Brown, 17

Knew when he was born

Street boys got no chance.

Tied him to my apron strings.

Dinnit stop him steppin’

into fists his stepdad meant for me.


jamal & jalen, 19

my beautiful twins

my african lions

red stains on a sidewalk

preacher tells me god

prefers a perfect sacrifice


Daniel Walker, 21

Majority reached,

I relaxed a fraction,

let long-held breath

come whooping out

in one long exaltation.

Angel of Death heard me,

took out his Ak-47

shot my baby full of holes.


©2020 Christine Irving

Posted on OPENLINKNIGHT at the d’Verse Poets Pub

This entry was posted in Poetry, racism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What Matters to Mothers

  1. Beverly Crawford says:

    Raw, honest, heartbreaking write. You’ve touched my heart.

  2. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice description: “Dinnit stop him steppin’
    into fists his stepdad meant for me.”

  3. msjadeli says:

    Heartbreaking. Mothers Tears Never End

  4. It’s hard to “like” this post, but thanks for sharing. Well done.

  5. Helen Dehner says:

    I hear their voices, and their mothers’ cries. Beautiful write.

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