Janelle Williams Hughes Can't Breathe


Is Trayvon watching
in his black hoodie
as we fight, to
speak freely
echoing days of Martin

Did Eric’s death
Garner enough proof
for folks to realize
all Mike had to do was
be Brown
in state of Misery
or Texas for that matter
where fools say
Sandra may be alive
if her words were more Bland

Can we breathe easy
when we know
Freddie ran
because some police see
no Gray areas
only black and white, rich and poor and
Alton wasn't a Sterling citizen
but didn't deserve to die either

Will grandmothers clutch pearls
because they know
attention Korryn
and her son Gaines
is for all the right and wrong reasons?

don't have answers
can only #saytheirnames
as I ask questions
and try to breathe.


Janelle W. Hughes is a writer and lover of all things that illustrate the ingenuity of her fellow human beings.  She was born, raised, and still resides in Baltimore, Maryland. During the day, she works as Director of Communications for a technical assistance center serving schools and colleges across the country. At night, she writes poems, short stories and essays, and reads novels and articles from literary magazines and journals until her eyes bleed. In the morning, she feels like she should regret it, but she doesn't; the cycle continues.

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