He Ain’t Done Nothin’

A boy was shot
Lay in a pool of blood
Outside a grocery store
On a New York City corner
While the milk he had bought
Flowed reluctantly into its own puddle
And sobs and sirens blasted
Ear drums
The dark night
Every one of the boy’s dreams
His mother’s heart
The heart of every woman mothering a black son
Is my child next?
Will he, too, be found guilty of
Being black?

The boy was the older brother of a student
He returns a few weeks after his
Brother’s body is lowered
Into the earth
Ashes to ashes

But he was so young
He ain’t done nothin’ wrong
And that kinda shit
Ain’t even supposed to happen here
This ain’t Alabama

I’ve shut the door
This pain isn’t for all to hear
My student weeps
Crouched under the weight of
What has happened, that
He has never known a time when
He hasn’t expected bullets to
Tear down someone he loves
He isn’t spared himself in these fantasies of
What happens to black boys
But he is here now, and
His brother is gone

He ain’t done nothin’ wrong
He was just out getting milk for
My momz
Yo, my momz, yo
How she supposed to go on with
My brother gone?
He was her baby
I shoulda gone to the store
It shoulda been me
He didn’t deserve to die
He always been the good one
He always been my rock
What they kill him for?

He ain’t done a goddamn thing
I know
We weep
There is no wisdom
No pretense of comfort

Black is beautiful
I tell my students
My son
You are young, gifted, and
We hear Nina sing
But we are shrouded in fear
Knowing that
No matter how tall they stand
How proud they are of
Their blackness
So long as it is a weapon in the
Eye of the beholder
No barricade of pride
Nor prayer in any mother’s tongue
Can shield them from the bullets
Released from hate into the
Color of their skin

One thought on “He Ain’t Done Nothin’

  1. Greetings,

    Tiffany Bargeman here, Publisher of the MOBB United for Social Change (MUSC) Newsletter.


    We would love to repost this awesome poem in our newsletter. Do we have your permission?

    Also, we are expanding our team of writers. If you are interested in writing for our newsletter, please let us know by submitting a volunteer form at http://mobbunited.site-ym.com/page/Volunteer. We need your talent, passion, and energy in this fight to protect our Black boys and men. Then, please be on the lookout for a reply from mobbcommunications@gmail.com (be sure to check spam, and make us a safe sender).

    Please check out the Committees page for more info on our grassroots efforts (http://www.mobbunited.org/page/Committees), and consider joining the organization if you haven’t already (www.mobbunited.com/join). (Many don’t know that we are much more than the Facebook group.) No effort is too small.

    Please join us on our next weekly national status and update conference call. It will be a great way to learn more about what we do and how you can help (https://www.facebook.com/events/108407046499796/?ti=cl).

    I can’t wait to hear from you!

    Thank you.



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