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I Belong

Lights started flashing behind me

I felt so alone

What do I do?

I immediately feel helpless

Am I on probation? a convict?

Can you not see who I am?

You approach me as you wave your batons

Like I look like I’m ready to strike

I’m only straddling my teenager’s baby blue bike, that has a teddy bear in it’s basket, no weapon in sight

I was quickly demoted from a loving wife and mother to a criminal on the streets

My first thought was Sandra Bland and that it was time for me

Anger and sorrow flashed through me because I couldn’t say goodbye to my kids one last time

One look in the second cop’s eyes and I saw danger, roughness, I felt I was soon to die

I guess this is how it happens, anytime, anywhere, when you least expect it

I didn’t think it was this soon, didn’t think it was my time, no way were my kids to ever accept this

It was 10 o’clock at night and I was following behind my own minivan full of kids heading for home two blocks away

My husband drove faster, leaving me behind, he didn’t know what was to end my day

No time to be mad at him, I want to die in peace

I felt caged, detained, lonely and scared on that street

Answering their many questions truthfully and being kind didn’t seem to faze one of the cops

He continued to look at me like I was a specimen to be killed or locked up

The other cop must’ve been my saving grace

He saw my soul and began to brighten his face

He made small talk, laughed, and began to become my friend

The other cop still in mode, refused to join in

“We can let her go,” said the good cop, “She’s good, let her go”

“No,” said the other, “We haven’t been released to do so”

“We stopped you because you have no beams on your bike, in the front, nor in the back”

“That’s fine”, I thought to myself “But why this treatment with such lack?”

“I mean, I just saw you yelling out your window telling the teenagers at the skatepark that it’s too late to be there, to go home

Why not just yell out your window at me too, tell me to go get some beams for my bike and then drive on?

I don’t wanna think it, I don’t wanna say it

But it has to be true

Because all the teenagers at the park were white

But not once did you decide to flash your lights of white and blue

You could say that it was because I looked older, like a threat, or like a roughneck

But remember, I was riding a child’s bike with a teddybear in the basket while wearing my David Dobrik “Clickbait” sweatshirt

I fit the part, I blended in

The only thing that didn’t fit the part was my black skin

I’m thankful I got to go home safe and sound

I kissed my kids, yelled at my husband for leaving me and stress-ate till my tummy was big and round

Upstairs to my room, I slid away to hide my tears

My 12 year old son comes to check on me and I relive those fears

Tears began to stream down my face again, but now in front of him

He’s never seen my cry, I hope it doesn’t scar him

He instantly hugs me, calms me, and says that he’ll return with some good food

He returns with a bowl of my favorite, Raisin Bran, sliced fruit, and a glass of apple juice

My sweet boy, my love, my heart

I pray he never experiences any of this part

This part of life that can be cruel, confusing, traumatizing, just down right wrong

Racism, injustice, hatred, none of these belong

If a cop can yell out his window to tell people that it’s illegal to be at a skatepark after hours

Then surely, they can yell out their window to tell a bike rider that she needs to put beams on her bike

Racism, injustice, hatred, none of these belong

In this world, belongs a worried black mother of four, in her red “Clickbait” sweater

Desperately, riding her teenager’s bike to a skatepark at 10 o’clock at night

to check on the welfare of her family and to follow behind them on the way home

Racism, injustice, hatred, none of these belong

But in this world, I belong

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