Little Black Girl Watching The World Burn

A poem for the little black girls, watching the world change

Little Black girl, watching the news

Watching the death count rise

Watching words from a house painted white

Learning the word virus

Learning the word quarantine

The world is frozen

Like a rabbit

Frozen in fear

Ask the fox walks by

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Little Black girl, with your father’s phone in your hand

Gazing at the man on the ground

Gazing at the leg on his neck

Hearing the plead for air

Hearing the cries for mother

The world is dangerous

Like a mighty lion

Waiting to devour

A carefree antelope

Little Black girl, on your secret Twitter page

Soaking in the videos of statues falling

Soaking in the image of flags with stars and bars burning

Listening to the coughing from the gas that makes us cry

Listening to the chant coming from the people in the streets

The world is awakening

Like a bear stretching

As spring flirts with the Earth

Little Black girl, reading the newspaper

Sounding out words like autonomous zone

Sounding out suicides

Asking, “What is strange fruit?”

Asking, “Why do the police do as they do?”

The world is transforming

Like a caterpillar

Into a butterfly that soars through the sky

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Little Black girl, laying down to sleep

A cloth mask by your bed

A poster of Janelle on your wall

You rest your mind now

Rest quietly, little Black girl

The world is burning

It burns sometimes

But on the other side, in those ashes, is something new

Written by

Nikki Brueggeman writes about Black history, grief, and current events. Twitter: @warriornikki

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