I Saw You, Too

The following poem was written by a friend of mine who attended a protest in Louisville, Kentucky yesterday. I have read it several times over, and each time I find something new in it to love, each time something hits a little differently. Thanks, Jas, for your beautiful words. Your bravery. Your insight. Your compassion, empathy, and understanding. Your knowing. Your fight.

JSmith

Photo by Jasmine Smith – May 29, 2020 – Louisville, Kentucky

Unarmed, I stood in front of you
Disgusted by your riot gear and weapon in hand
I was anxious,
but you were too
As I stood in front of a line of men who could take my life at any minute,
I was afraid,
But you were too
You scanned the crowd as you were supposed to do, yet we continued to lock eyes

I saw you
Did you see me too?

Then it happened and smoke flew
I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe
I was completely blindsided

Were you?

Was watching me flee in panic and pain fulfilling to you?
But then, there I was, filled with tears and rage
I knew it would come to this, but I was hurt

And oddly, I saw the same hurt in you.

When I looked at you again, I saw a little boy who always knew what he was going to grow up to do
Protect the people and fight crime, that’s the job you thought would come with the badge they gave you
But for some reason that dream isn’t so true, this isn’t what you ever thought you’d go through.
Somehow, racist, pig, and unjust comes with the hat and the shoes.

But you get it, don’t you?

Your men are taking innocent lives without thinking it through
We are sick and we are tired and this is what it comes to

So to the cop that’s just there because of a dream, but now the rent is due…

I know you saw me
Just know I saw you too

B  L  A  C  K     L  I  V  E  S     M  A  T  T  E  R

But we are still behind the guys that see us,
They just happen to be in blue.

-Jasmine Smith

One thought on “I Saw You, Too

  1. I know how that feels and it’s hard to put into words. All that hope personified to have the best of humanity heard, then being pushed by new input and standing unknowing of what next. On one occasion walking to a line of police behind a temporary six foot metal fence, held together and upright in concrete blocks and quietly, peacefully, pleading with eye contact for the kids with us to be let through and the officer opened up a gap (faith in humanity restored). Individuals, we all are, in a group we can forget that and might need reminding.

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