All posts by Cynthia Young

Cynthia Robinson Young is a native of Newark, New Jersey, but now lives in Tennessee where she is an adjunct professor in Exceptional Education at Covenant College in Georgia. Her work has appeared in journals, including Freedom Fiction, Global Poemic, The Dewdrop, Rigorous, and The Amistad. She was the Poetry Editor of the 2020 issue of Catalpa: a magazine of Southern Perspectives. For her chapbook, Migration, she was named Finalist in the 2019 Georgia Author of the Year Award in her division.

GOTTA BE GRATEFUL – by Cynthia Young

I thank God my son was in California
In 1992
when the police looked down at him sitting
on the ground and said to the suburban shopper,
who called security and reported him.
“Is he the one?”

I thank God my son has white friends.
The fact that his friends were all doing the same thing—
making an action-packed testosterone video for school,
might have helped him some.
They let his friends do the explaining,
showed the po-lice
their guns weren’t real,
while my son held his head down on concrete,
his wrists handcuffed together
like the shackles of his ancestors.

They let him go with
a restraining order:

never enter our mall again

and I thank God it wasn’t
a restraining rope
in a community square
in Alabama
in 1892

or a bullet
in 2002,
from a real gun.

Image credit: Abstract art (Cyclone Zone Amoled Backgrounds)