On the protests against police brutality in late April and June, 2020
(a modern take on Dudley Randall's "Ballad of Birmingham")
"Mama, why are people marching
and saying we're not free?
Isn't America celebrated for
treating everyone equally?"
"Yes, baby, that is what they say
as we work for and love our country,
But no matter how much we pledge and give,
we're treated differently."
"But mama, what is it about us
that makes people turn colder?
Like when kids don't want to play with me,
And you're scared when we're pulled over."
"I don't know why, baby, I don't know
why they only see in color.
I wish the world was different, so you'd
not cry for it as you grow older."
They saw the protestors march by,
with masks, signs, cameras, phones,
A next-door-neighbor offered a sign,
and said, "You don't stand alone."
So they joined the crowd, full of pain, love,
Calling for justice long overdue.
The child saw people who protected her,
And smiled and waved at them too.
But then the crowd shifted, running, shouting,
The child stood there, confused,
There were tears now running down her face,
shed unwillfully, chemically abused.
Her vision blurred, colors swirling,
Then stung with water cool.
"Baby, you came to ask for love,
And now they've hurt you too?"