POETRY: “ In case you aren’t alive to see our wedding day.”


(Photo credit: Bing Images)


By Penda Smith


When it rains, crying waterfall style,

is God sad?

“I was born by the river in a little tent

Oh, and just like the river I’ve been running ever since”



Has death fallen in love with you before me?

Did he swoop you off your feet,

And take your breath away?


“It’s been a long, a long time coming,

But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will”

“It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die,

‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky”


I heard you ballroom danced with a grim reaper.

heard you waltzed across a mahogany floor.

until you slipped,

like click,

like broken neck,

sound like rattling skittles.

your heartbeat must sound like clicking of ebony gun.

they done mistaked your black skin for steel.


“It’s been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will”


I’ve been waiting for justice to say sorry.

But she say,

She color blind,

Like she don’t see color,

Like she ain’t see your body.

She aint’ see

when your corpse sprawled out on abandoned road,

body apologetic, limp

And you all gasping for breath,

decrescendo orchestra of symphony.

Will a man with a badge,

Mistake the thumping of heart for atomic bomb,

Have you been naturally selected against?

Your own constitution see you as 3/5th a human being.



“I go to the movie and I go downtown

Somebody keep telling me don’t hang around”



Yesterday it rained,

but this time raindrops trickle down cheeks


“I was born by the river in a little tent”



If my wedding dress doesn’t take away your breath,

because an officer does it before me,

Tell God to hold back tears long enough for justice,

to see your blood spilled.

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