The Cost of Silence - A Poem by Zoe (age 27)

I had to drug myself last night 

Pop a pill that I hoped would cure the ill of restlessness 

Because after standing on my two feet all day screaming SAY HIS NAME 

I still can’t find no peace 

And as I slip down under into a dark  slumber 

That only hopelessness can provide- I cry 

I cry not because my back, knee and feet hurt

But because my soul is mourning

She’s anticipating the morning that may come

When my brother, cousin, father, friend or son

Will be subjected to a violent demise

And although it may come with a deep wrenching pain 

It ironically won’t come as a surprise

Because we’ve been conditioned

Hashtags, reposts and retweets 

Replaying black bodies stretched across pavement on every news feed 

For the world to see 

Oh yes, my soul is mourning

Mourning the innocence of Black boyhood 

When it was ok to be young and make mistakes 

When he could be free and not have to worry that his  life could be in danger anyway 

Mourning the beauty that Brown baby girls deserve to flaunt to the world 

But instead her fullness is hidden and her pride considered laughable 

Only to see that it's only ghetto until proven fashionable 

Oh yes, my soul is mourning 

Because it ain't easy being Black or Brown 

So we drown the sound of our sorrows

In hopes that salvation is on the other side of it 

We substitute our sanity for substances

Our pain with emotional games 

Our cries with eyes that lie 

All because “I need help” are words too venomous to spew 

So were left trapped in realities

Praying that new days will bring hope anew 


But they never do 


And even though my soul continues to mourn for generations unborn 

And for lives that have yet to be lost 

This is a fight we must continue 

Because if we don’t 

Our ancestors

Our brethren 

Our children… are the cost 

Leave a comment