Broken Rainbow – for Trayvon Martin

For Trayvon Martin, 17, who was shot February 26, 2012 by a neighborhood watch captain when he was returning home after buying candy for his younger brother.  Since the story broke, more information has slowly come out and there has been a nationwide outcry for further investigation.  Still, as of March 21, 2012, the police have not arrested the man who shot Trayvon Martin.

Broken Rainbow

Don’t know why the path of your story
curved to meet the hard line of his barrel
no news of your favorite
sports team or if there was a
wide smiled girlfriend devastated at home

Not a word of good grades
or a criminal record but I get the idea
you cared for a brother
younger than you.
A token for him not delivered that night
under neighborhood watch.

Hush hush, they say.  This one is not ours.

Scared or threatened, bold or meek,
Let people remember
yours was a
a boy on the cusp of manhood
it was not anyone’s decision to make

Will the sound of a slight young man’s last breath
reverberate in the watchdog’s chest?
Always circling like a vulture
Waiting for the flesh of hate to finally die?
Or will he believe a truth he conceived
fluff it up each night
a soft place for dreaming soundly?

Hush hush, they say.  We did not hear the screams.

National headlines have amnesia too.
Cannot remember today a shred of your wound, the violence
A bullet ripped apart your body, life, family
by supposed well-intentioned hands who claimed their
right to protect.

I will not let the world forget,
You lived. You loved.
Trayvon Martin
it was your blood that night
Rainbow candy in your pocket
never passed warm hand to hand
brother to brother
now only from this life
to next

Hush hush, they say.
But there will be no silence
Not for this man.  Until your screams are heard
Wings of justice flapping wildly above him


5 thoughts on “Broken Rainbow – for Trayvon Martin

    • Thank you. It was actually the final impetus for starting the poetry blog. It was the only thing I could think to do.


  1. I’m really so sorry but I’m also surprised Jacque that you open with such a poem. Because what then? I don’t know what to say – other than I’m sorry. Really, I don’t understand why you can have guns in the US for a start so who am I to say anything?
    Here I was ready to write the world for you — and I don’t know what to say just now.
    Oh, but yes, I’m so glad that you started this website.


    • That is the whole idea of the blog Andrea. To speak of that which people want to silence and not speak about. You would wish for me not to write of such horrible things and open my poetry blog this way, but this is something that weighs heavily on my mind. This is something about which I feel deeply. I am passionate that everyone should not have access to guns for this very reason. I am deeply saddened that this boy was killed and his killer was not arrested. If I don’t write about these things, they sit and eat up my heart.

      This poem is the perfect opener because I want this to be a place to discuss the unspeakable. We can discuss the things that make us feel uncomfortable, terrified, broken-hearted, elated, hysterical, etc. It is a place to take risks. Later, there may be funny poems and lighter topics, but this is the story that called me to write to the world. It is the reason I finally decided to do it.


  2. Here’s a bold statement: any poem without passion behind it is just fluff. Or conversely: passion is a good reason to write a poem, paint a picture, write a song, etc.


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