Juxtaposition | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS


Photo by Robin Johnson

Photo by Robin Johnson


Karla L. McCullough


by Karla L. McCullough, Ph.D. (2016)

Be still my heart

I'm proud

I'm scared

I listen to his breath while he lay

Only half a dozen years of life to the day

and all I do is cry and pray

Be still my heart

No......please beat again

My son

He needs me

But how can I give you hope

in a world filled with hopelessness

How can I protect you in that beautiful skin

that causes so much uneasiness

How can I teach you to be independent when I need you to depend on me

How can I teach you to be honest

Although it doesn't mean you'll go untouched

Be still my heart

No.....please beat again

My eyes swell with tears and my soul is injured

How can I teach you about the great strides that Martin and Medgar have made 

When the evidence of hate has only transformed its state

Be still my heart

No.....please beat again

How do I defend your right to live a life free from fear

While fearing for your life

How do I teach you to be strong when your strength can get you killed

How do I help you find your voice when your voice could offend the shield

Don't wear the hoodie

Don't speak so loud

Don't ask too many questions

Don't act too wild

Don't get an attitude

Don't appear to be rude

Don't wear your hair like that

Don't just stand around and chat

Don't run anywhere

Don't stand still and stare


Hold my heart....

Its still

It breaks

It aches

Its numb

But the love of my son

is way too great

Our next steps are not clear 

but I'll lead with my heart

It beats

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