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Poet Eris Eady's "Dear Tamir" Says All the Things We Shouldn't Have to Say




After yesterday's announcement that the officers responsible for 12-year-old Tamir Rice's death last November would not be indicted for his murder, many of us took to social media to express our heartbreak, outrage, and confusion.

It's hard for us to fathom that a child could be killed, and his murderers not be brought to justice. And yet, we have become accustomed to the term "no indictment."
[From Emmett to Tamir: Black Childhood Does Not Exist]

And still, this is not something we should have to be accustomed to. And still, we are left without the words to articulate the amount of grief we feel for Tamir and his family, and anger we feel at the broken American justice system.

However, poet and activist Eris Eady found the words that many of us have been searching for in her poem, "Dear Tamir." Eady, who describes herself as a "cis-queer, sophistiratchet, nappy headed, heavy bottomed, black chick from Cleveland, Ohio," wrote the poem and uploaded a version of it on YouTube.

Check out the video and its text below.




Dear Tamir

“I’m sorry, baby boy.” 
Is all that I can whisper to your soul from afar
Though my sorry don’t mean shit
Ain't changed shit
Won’t change shit today ‘cept my level of sorrow

I hope you’re not watching
That the angels of the most high have
Distracted you with holy Xbox 360s and mike & ikes

I hope you don’t see
How worthless the grand jury thinks
Your last breath was
How much worth they found
In your murderer

I hope you’re too busy
Playing hide & go seek in glory
To deal with these
Crippling trifles on earth

They see us as trifles you know…

Ain't hardly been no snow in Cleveland
The earth is grey & damp & hot & bothered
She’s tired of holding our sons & daughters
That were snatched before their time

Mother Earth said fuck a white Christmas in Cleveland
It’s the least she could do.

I shouldn’t be cussin ‘round 12 year old angels
But you know I’m mad, baby boy…
Mad ‘cause I got no answer
Mad ‘cause they saw you as a grown man
Mad ‘cause where else you supposed to play but a park
Mad ‘cause I can’t flip a table and throw things to make me feel better
Mad ‘cause all the power welled up inside me might get me killed
Mad ‘cause you don’t count when assholes yell all lives matter
Mad ‘cause your mama probably ain't had a good night’s rest since you been gone

But here I am breathing…
Not cause I did anything right… or anything wrong

I struggle with God’s will – that he wanted to take you home…
Not like this… Not this way…
I’m sorry, baby boy…
Though my sorry don’t mean shit
Ain't changed shit
Won’t change shit today.


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