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after the news of the dead whether or not we

knew them we are saying thank you

—W.S. Merwin

A blanket of fresh snow

makes any neighborhood idyllic.

Dearborn Heights indistinguishable from Baldwin Hills,

South Central even—

until a thawing happens & residents emerge

into the light. But it almost never snows in L.A.,

& snows often in this part of Michigan—

a declining wonderland, a place not to stand out

or be stranded like Renisha was.

Imagine a blonde daughter with a busted car

in a suburb where a brown homeowner

(not taking any chances)

blasts through a locked door first,

checks things out after—

around the clock coverage & the country beside itself

instead of the way it is now,

so quiet like a snowy night

& only the grief of another brown family

around the Christmas tree, recalling

memories of Renisha playing

on the front porch, or catching flakes

as they fall & disappear

on her tongue.

They are left to imagine

what her life might have been.

We are left to imagine the day

it won’t require imagination

to care about all of the others.

from Starshine & ClayFind more by Kamilah Aisha Moon at the library

Copyright © 2017 Kamilah Aisha Moon
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Kamilah Aisha Moon Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.