Published on September 16th, 2014 | by Eve Lyons



In One Week I Could Be the Mother of a Black Son

For Trayvon Martin


Dear Son,

You haven’t even been born yet,

And already I am worried.

Worried that even in this country

where we have a half-black

son of an African immigrant and a white woman

sitting in the White House

We still have black men,

black teenagers, no – black kids

being shot dead

for the crime of looking black.

How will I protect you from my world?

How will I make this world a place you will want to live?

Oh, you’re rescuing him, several people said

because we’ll be flying to Arkansas

to bring you into our family.

Arkansas is where Bill Clinton came from,

but it’s also not far from West Memphis

where they almost executed Damien Echols

who was different by choice.

Will Boston be better?

Will you miss Little Rock?

Will you feel at home in the Jewish community

even if you look different from others?

For me, growing up Jewish in South Texas

was a visible, palpable difference –

much like being Black,

wearing a hoodie, or

listening to heavy metal.

I retreated into my youth group

where I sort of fit in.

Will you be able to do the same?

Will you feel wanted and loved

by anyone other than me

and your other mother?


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About the Author

Eve Lyons lives in the Boston area. Her work has appeared in Lilith, Literary Mama, Hip Mama, PIF, Welter, Prospectus, Barbaric Yawp, WordRiot, and Dead Mule of Southern Literature, as well as several anthologies. Her first book, Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World, was published in May of 2020 by WordTech Communications.

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