Sandy

Sandra Bland, Sandra Bland
I watched your video late last night,
three times

watched you tell a cop your rights
and keep calmly smoking your cigarette
in your car. My rights, my rights

and more and more people are thinking
about black lives. I’m not black,

I don’t live in America. I don’t fully
understand, or empathise

but if someone told me, like a prick
– like a man who had to always be right –
to put out my cigarette and
step out of my vehicle, that I’d paid for

or not, still my space
and threatened to ‘light me up’ – I’d
holler blue murder too. Sandra, I feel bad for you

I feel bad like bad is the tip of an iceberg
I feel horrified. I read about your cell

I read about the marks on your wrists
and 2014/15 scrubbed out and how

angry and scared and humiliated you’d be if someone asked
if you’d been suicidal before, and
were you now?

like it was a question that was easy for
anyone to answer. I read about the marijuana

I tried to guess if you were dead
in your mugshot, while I made another
cup of tea and wondered if

my life mattered

and if it would be worth the same
if I was black, and female, and mouthy

and had been in trouble with the law,
before.

Oh Sandy, I’m sorry
they have so many inconsistencies
I’m sorry you weren’t checked on
hourly (like you’re s’posed to be)

I’m sorry they kept trash bags
in their cell block garbage cans and I bet

that it’s not that easy
for a six foot tall lady to hang
like a Christmas tree ornament
with one foot on the floor

I hope they investigate you more.
I hope that every other
black lady in the Southern states

doesn’t sweat through her make-up
and wonder if she’ll make it home
when she’s driving and

she sees those blue cop lights.

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About fiercemissc

Twenty-something Geordie girl living and working in Hong Kong. Young, free and single and making the most of it.
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