To My Child

To my dear child,

Sometimes I dream of you, a curious, playful child, vowing to take the world and turn it on its heels, to take what you can and build, grow, and change. I dream that your name will be unique, and you will wear it with pride, like an emblem on your chest. It will compliment your dark, brown skin, warm to the touch, and catch like the knots in your wild, curly hair.

I think of all the things that you can be. And I wonder if I will ever have the chance to meet you.

I wonder if I will see your name flash across the screen as you walk down the aisle to graduate, or flashed across the tv screen next to, Say Their Name. Will you make it to your 18th birthday? Or will you live forever, among the names of those who died before or after you?

What will you look like? Will you be brown, like me, or wish you were white? Will you wish to change the texture of your hair, or lighten your beautiful brown skin?

I wonder if you will come to me crying because your classmate called you a nigger. Will you wake up in the middle of the night screaming and scared because you are afraid that you will be hanged.

Will you be able to play outside, because it’s too hot in the wintertime? Will the trees have died, the soil turned to ash? Will I ever see your face turn up in delight as you taste dripping honey, or the laughter when a blueberry is smashed on your face?

I wonder if white supremacy will begin to be normalcy.

I wonder if you will become numb to pain, to be saturated in the hate that is this country. I wonder if it will pierce into your veins and you will feel nothing, see nothing when people like you drown in floods or cross a border.

I’m afraid the trauma of my own life will hurt you as my mother’s hurt me and her mother’s hurt her.

 

I’m afraid you will never exist.

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