A little girl exits the back seat on the passenger side.
A police officer scoops her up.
The world bears witness.
No justice! No peace!
As this child grows up we will brand her resilient.

Never mind the nightmares and daymares that now blur.

Now, sitting behind her mommy, elevated in her carseat with the pink swirls, nothing protects her view. Bullets rip through her Philando. Too fast to count. The blasts shake the car. She, sits still. Eyes wide. In tune to her mommy’s level voice. Yes sir. I will keep my hands where you can see them, sir. Mommy reasoning with the shouting policeman pointing his gun. Mommy live-streaming on her cell phone. Mommy.

She makes herself small.

Never mind her Philando’s groans or his splattered blood or his head falling toward her lap.
Never mind her Mommy’s plea: Please, don’t tell me you just killed my boyfriend.
Never mind these horrific minutes, ingrained during her formative years, will impact her for a lifetime and then some.

We will brand her resilient as we seek to comfort ourselves.
We will brand her resilient as we cocoon ourselves in a silver-lined fantasy that mandates a four year old become our hero.
We will brand her resilient as we pull bloodied threads of hope from her personal tragedy.

We will brand her resilient. Mommy handcuffed in the squad car. Breaks. Wails.

“It’s okay, Mommy.
“It’s okay. I’m right here with you.”
“I will protect you.”

We need mother and daughter to be resilient.
They are our hope.
Never mind the cost.

We are anything but resilient, so we ascribe this burden to a four year old Black baby.
We insist she bear what we cannot.
We know there is no justice.
We know there is no peace.
We know nothing has really changed in over 200 years.
We cover our guilt, our anguish, our hopelessness as
We lament…there are no words.
Cowards that we are, hiding behind a traumatized little girl, who witnessed the brutal murder of her Philando by those sworn to protect and to serve.

Never mind.

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