The Way Some of Us Are
Carver’s knife found shut, said The Times.
No exclamation necessary.
A period is all there is.
No one knows how not surprised
many folks are.
A human being shot, killed another human
That’s the truth, the fact.
That one human being is white and the other a
Native American is a fact and often a
The former is a policeman; the latter a carver.
Too often that is a problem.
I submit that if both had looked at each other as
human beings there would’ve been no
I submit that the white policeman saw red long
before he saw human being.
I submit that many policemen often see a color
before they see a person.
I submit much of the policeman’s culture says
beware of people of color, the darker they,
the more careful you.
I submit the policeman believed he was in
danger though he with his gun was
not close enough to see a closed knife.
And I submit, diminished mental state
notwithstanding, Mr. Williams knew much
of this and chose to risk being himself.
No doubt there is sorrow; there should be.
But absolutely no amount of sorrow nor
anything else, nothing will bring back Mr.
John T. Williams.
Of course, policemen do not want to be killed.
Of course, they must protect themselves.
But as long as they serve a populace they fear,
we can count on too many of them
stomping, beating, and shooting, killing
too—acting and then asking questions.
The cold-blooded killings of their comrades
doubtlessly makes them more guarded.
Until policemen know more of the folks they are
guarding we can expect them to feel justified
in their actions despite being deadly wrong.
Georgia Stewart McDade, a Louisiana native who’s lived in Seattle more than half her life, loves reading and writing. Most of her career was spent teaching. The African-American Writers’ Alliance member has been reading her stories and poetry in public since 1991. McDade conducts writing workshops usually emphasizing theorizing, organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing. Her works are in anthologies I Wonder as I Wander, Gifted Voices, Words? Words! Words, and Threads. Travel Tips for Dream Trips, questions and answers about her six-month, solo trip around the world and Outside the Cave, poetry, are major components of her portfolio.