Sunday Morning Service (for Sandra Bland)
July 11, 2016
(arrested July 20, 2015)
We say your name
because we know they want you to be erased
to be just a memory
to be just a fragment
to be just a fragrance caught in their wind.
We chant your name
because we could not stop your arrest.
We saw it but could not act
as throwing stones at our computers never changes anything.
We whisper your name, over and over again,
because we still strive to find the normal
to give voice to our pain
to reclaim what we love
to remember who we are.
We whisper it, over and over again,
because there is a sore—
festering raw infested real—called racism
that has always been there
covered up for years by enslavement by reconstruction
by the nadir
covered up for years by segregation by voting rights
uncovered finally by the stench that is post-racial.
We sing your name
because we have come to the place where we must be held accountable.
We didn’t want you to just be a hash tag, a name thrown around by politicians
who want our vote but not our voices but we let it happen, we couldn’t stop it.
We will stand on your name
because we have learned how to sit quietly and meditatively
at the feet of your memory
but we will not set up a tent and remain there
for there is no time for rest, not just yet.
© RaceBrave, Karsonya Wise Whitehead, 2016