Alayzah Wilson

Things I Must Teach

my son.  in the world in which I bring

my son there are things I must show him at dinner I’ll pass him survival

tips like mom please  pass me        the salt

giving him strategy

as if I was sending him off

to war. I will be

sending him off to a world

at war. A world that didn’t deem him

worthy. And though I would treat him

as a king .The world would deem him

as peasant .Lower than them .Unworthy

of justice He’ll find that gun barrels are always shorter

than alley ways .And gun barrels always lead

to shorter endings than alley ways. In the world

in which I bring


my son into there are things

I must teach him. Keep your head

down. Keep your voice low. Don’t

draw too much attention to yourself

I don’t want to see your outline drawn

on a sidewalk. Please be respectful. Avoid

any confusion with the police . Always

be respectful to the police, Pull your pants up. Keep


your hands out of your pockets. It is better

to be silent than to be silenced. Oh please dear

son of mine understand that I didn’t want you to come

into a world of war your skin it seems is fighting

a losing war. I don’t want to see you shot

down . I just want to lift you up. But they’ll shoot

you even with your hands raised

people can never tell me it’s not

about race . The race between running feet and a bullet

with my future son’s name on it. I never want

to see a grave with his name carved on it .I won’t ever be ready

to bury a child .Not anyone’s. Not my own. I’ve know his name

since the third grade lately it seems his name will be mine to know


I’m 16 years old and I started writing poetry in the 8th grade, I know that isn’t that long but it seems like forever for me. I’ve found that poetry is the outlet I’ve always been searching for. It allows for creative expression and helps me to have unfiltered thoughts and just put them down and make them seem real.