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I Wonder How My Grandmother Knew

April 4, 2017

I wonder how my grandmother

Knew that my dad would be OK

She died when I was 14 

And I never got a chance to say


Much about how I feel about raising a black man

Death took her before I had the chance,

But I wish I could run across a letter or two

Maybe that she wrote to someone she knew


About being so paranoid

That my dad would not live to see the age of 23

Because his skin color, even when innocent

Will always scream a guilty plea


I wonder if she 

Kissed him on his forehead at night 

And wiped tears from her cheeks

While trying to tell herself that he would be alright


That he would indeed outlive her 

And even live to see his grandkids

I wonder what she did


When she saw him die everyday on the news

I wonder how did she choose

What path should he take when walking home from school 


So he would live that day

How could she have been so sure that the hood or the Police

Wouldn't take her baby away?


My Dad grew up to be a wonderful man

Of course, I'm one of his biggest fans

Married my mom and raised a family of his own

And now that we are all grown


I just wish that I could talk to my grandmother

Just one last time

Because now I have a son 

And the only thing that is on my mind


Is that his age is 14

But his body built likes to debate that fact

Trying to prepare him for prom, college, careers,

And especially driving while black


My Dad grew up to do all those things

Even though he died in the paper daily

So I was just hoping that maybe


This blessing will be extended to my own seed

I am trying to shake the doubt and allow my heart to believe

That I will not become another black mother that grieves

At her baby boy's lifeless body as it bleeds death unto the concrete


I wonder if my grandmother's prayers were strong enough to assure

That my baby boy will grow up, too.



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