I have to be honest when I say it’s rare that a holiday goes by without a heaviness filling my chest. This inescapable phenomenon has haunted me for as long as I can remember.
Holidays have always been bittersweet because I know that the joy that many feel is usually equally matched with an emptiness in someone else’s experience.
The recent buzz around the death of the unarmed black man Ahmaud Arbery who dared to jog in the “land of the free” has given me a heaviness that leaves me mourning on what is meant to be an amazing day.
The following poem is an attempt to understand my feelings. I’m sorry but this inexplicable, inescapable, painful heaviness doesn’t leave much room for cheery, inspiration prose.
The men relive near death experiences as a massacre is played on every screen. The characters are always the same. A brown person strewn lifeless and empty, minimized to a sidewalk chalk outline.
The mamas apologize for a pain they never caused. The daddys raise fists or clench them even tighter.
A perpetual thing.
A playlist set to repeat.
If you are mourning today, know that you are not alone.