Black Babies

a poem by Raynisha Jackson

“I feared for you, my only daughter and my 2 sons

As a new mother with skin the color of coal,

I knew that my children would have a strike against them.

I thought if I could just raise them to be the best that they can be,

teach them to stick and move fluidly amongst their peers,

My black babies can be invisible.

It’s a terrible thought, I know,

you want your children to shine their unique light onto the world

but when I was growing up,

being black meant you were nothing but alligator bait.

Green money meant nothing if the color of your skin was darker than pale,

K9 cop dogs were on you like you were a chew toy or a plaything,

Crooked police shrugged and looked the other way when somebody black got killed.

“Just another unsolved mystery” Bullshit!

I finally knew this peace that every mother, any race or creed, shouted about,

in the maternity ward while in labor with all of you.

I joyfully rejoiced! “My children will and shall have better!”

A white bitch laying in the bed next to me told me to “Shut my nigger mouth up!”

Growing up black and becoming a young mother

sealed your fate, my black babies.

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