Art, like beauty, should be simply displayed and judged by its beholder. It is not up to the artist to explain, justify, or disclaim each piece to help soothe the viewing masses.
But, since I am a terribly insecure poet and do not have viewing masses (more like, dozens), I want to explain the following poem a bit. I have been heavy-hearted tonight, feeling a profound burden of prayer for the people of Ferguson, Missouri. This poem developed in my head as I prayed for understanding of the difficulties faced by people on both sides of the issue. I do not claim to have an opinion on the matter; the last thing anyone needs is another opinion, and let’s be honest, very few people were actually at the scene of the incident. I also recognize that the issues at hand go much deeper than one incident in one town in August. I hope to show how we are more similar than we realize, and how grace is our first best hope, always.
It was never supposed to be this way.
All I ever wanted
was a fair shot,
to serve and protect,
a chance to be somebody.
If I could just live my life in peace.
If I had to, to lay down my life for peace.
Community has an understanding
The system is a social contract
based on trust.
All my experiences have ever taught me
is to trust no one but my own.
And I don’t know where the anger began –
And I don’t know where the division began –
like chasing spiderwebs in the dark.
But now there’s blood on the streets
and it all looks red.
The schools and the stores
are boarded and closed,
and my community, where my family lives.
and this community I swore to protect
is no longer safe.
I don’t know where to begin,
if nothing changes…