Inspired by my creative friends from Staten Island, poet laureate Marguerite Rivas, who published a poem every day in April, and Poets & Writers editors, Mary Gannon and Kevin Larimer, whose book on writing has just been released. published in April, and in full recognition of the gigantic holes in my upbringing, I purchased “The Incendiary Art, a Pulitzer Prize-winning book of poetry from a CSI English teacher and national luminary. , Patricia Smith, without really knowing what it was about. It is an endless, witness and condensed eulogy of the violence of white America on black America, an incomplete, unfinished anthology, as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

While we, white America, are outraged by the murder of another black son, and yet remain powerless to respond to it in a coherent way, reading Patricia Smith’s work is the smallest act of raising awareness and acknowledging racism. systemic and white supremacist who, unlike Ahmaud Arbery, is allowed to run openly through this very rugged country.

So, for Mother’s Day, I think of Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, and the mothers of Emmet Till and Eric Garner and Rodney King and Michael Brown and Sean Bell and Sandra Bland, and … and… . and.

As armed white men storm state houses, spitting infected spit in the rule of law’s face, occupying cafes with grenade launchers and strolling through locked and crowded main streets, let’s not prepare. not our alibis, not our excuses, not our quick and fleeting outrage. But, let us prepare to be guided by the example of poets … and mothers.

(Lorie Honor is a resident of Stapleton.)


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