Child Be Lost by Dayana Lee Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate

When I get to heaven
I pray my skin color
doesn’t appall you
I pray God
opens his gates for me

I pray society’s standard
don’t decipher into heaven
Because I know I’m on my way
I am on the government’s waiting list
I mean death list
execution style

I know you are tired
of hearing black poems
but shouldn’t we be more fed up
with the injustices of black children

My hair defies gravity
My skin reflects off the sun
like I be superman
but my cape

doesn’t protect me
from the bullets
or the slurs
or the complex

I built from being
tormented since age five

This was when
I became aware
that the white kids
couldn’t come out
To play with me
because my skin
absorbed the sun

They fear this power
They fear this
chocolate thunder
Kill what you don’t know

I did not understand
why mom cried so hard
when she hear black children
dying

until I realized
I be black child too.

I was proud of my skin
But I didn’t know I be hated for it
Didn’t know
I’d be google searching
skin lightening remedies lemons
on bleach lemons on bleach

I couldn’t scrub off this chocolate
I wanted to get rid of myself
as much as they did
Be tough
Be vulnerable
Be aware

Red, white, and blue
Here come the sirens
Only to dance
With the little girls on the corner
There’s a war in the streets
Nobody speaks
And now a boy laying on the ground- Janelle Monae

that’s me
I made the headlines mom

I’m finally famous
I even got a hashtag trending with my name
You did say I was an angel
that i’d be special
so why you crying ma

Officer Johnson
he more famous
than me though
headline say super hero officer
kills black thug saves city
when did I become a terrorist

i was born black
so i’m a threat
Grimm reaper
done already written me
nonexistent
when mom pushed me out
we breed death?

I just wanted to see 18
but 15
saw me lay lifeless
on a street I grew up on

i died
hearing them laugh
at my cries
for momma for pops
for somebody to help

and i guess they couldn’t
find any pictures of me
playing sports
helping my community
I guess mugshots
make up the best eulogy’s

they wanted me to fit
The description
that they’ve made about black girls
and boys
stop crying ma

it’s not lonely
it’s thousands of us up here
just make sure
my little brothers and sisters
Are not engraved in the pavement
outside our house too

i still wish heaven could’ve waited for me ..
cause it’s getting a little cramped for space up here

it’s eerie
bullets just be in the wind now
searching for a black body to claim able

i put my hands up
right away
mommy you said God
had a purpose for me
was it death?

Had my hands up
Like you taught me ma
And they still shot me

my people
have become
walking prisoners
awaiting our death trials

I just hope
that my people
do me more
justice than a hashtag

promise that they will sing about me
I just hope my people still sing
about me even after
the next black bird is shot down

mommy please don’t forget me

Sofia Snow