Before Michael Brown’s Funeral – A Poem by Christopher D. Sims

Before Michael Brown’s funeral

Black folk in Missouri, in Memphis,
in Cincinnati, in Chicago, and all
across the land, should hold hands
and cry collective tears that
could transform America.

Before Michael Brown’s funeral
Black folks in back country towns
where you only hear nature’s sounds
should look one another eye to eye
and say a new prayer to remember
Emmett Till.

Before Michael Brown’s funeral,

Let Birmingham, Alabama remember

The four little black girls killed
by a bomb in their town, and the burning
feelings that ensued afterwards.

Before Michael Brown’s funeral tomorrow,
let us remember Martin Luther King Jr,
Huey P. Newton, Medgar Evers, and the
horrifying images of Malcolm X being
gunned down in New York City. Let us
stay connected to how that felt and how
far we have to go in America.

Before Michael’s Brown funeral let us
all stand beneath the universe’s stars
and come up with immediate solutions
that will stop young Black males from

Becoming fallen stars on American streets

where young Black men clash with cops on beat
and lose their lives.

Before Michael Brown young and elder
Black men were hung from trees and shot
in their backs because sometimes they ran.

They ran to find freedom,peace, solace, serenity,
safety, safety.