Vox Populi

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Sarah Browning: Petworth, Early Evening

A man is stabbing women in my neighborhood.

Most poor people in my city are Black


and because of the warnings of 400 years

I assume the man stabbing women


is Black. Walking home, I pass

a young Black man on the sidewalk.


When I first spotted him I did not

cross the street, though I thought to.


As we pass he reaches into his pocket

and I feel fear, how white I am.


From his pocket he pulls

a phone. Calls his girlfriend or grandma


or buddy up the street, his job, his pastor,

his boyfriend, his AA sponsor. I don’t want


to be afraid of my neighbors, walking home

from the Metro in the clear light of evening.


I want to tear history from my throat.


My son is in his room texting his friends.

It is June in the 21st century.


copyright 2015 Sarah Browning


One comment on “Sarah Browning: Petworth, Early Evening

  1. scarlettmd5
    August 10, 2020

    I appreciate your self-awareness. and your willingness to share it with the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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