Friday, March 28, 2014

when black girls go missing: for Relisha Rudd

On missing girls

When little girls go missing
We search in parks
In places where little girls
Don’t belong
Lest we believe the little red riding hood
Stories about safety
About land
And woods
And trees

When little girls go missing
In your backyard
Becomes a crime scene
Its hard not to sit at your
Computer crying
Or begin to pray over each of the
Babies in your program

When little girls go missing
 We search
We search for our own mother’s gardens
Trying to make sense of
Girl hood
Of woman hood in wooded areas
Where life doesn’t grow

When little girls go missing
We try to debate the facts
We try to make sense

I know so many little girls
Beautiful ones
With big eyes
Who have seen too much
Who know too much about the cold world
Who I worry about

How poverty, and desperation, how accountability and schools
And police and parents and “god fathers” and shelters
Deal with complexity
Deal with not knowing
Deal with ambiguity
Deal with right and wrong
Deal with life
Deal with you when you’re missing from school
Or when you’re just missing

When little girls go missing
It’s hard not to notice
Not to try to write about
Not to cry about
The girls who are seen and unseen

The ones in my own backyard

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