Emmett Till & Lost Innocence; a Poem

Emmett_Tillwritten February 1st, 2010

The Civil Rights Movement was sparked in part by an incident involving the brutal murder of a young black man in the mid-1950s. There are pictures and the full story of Emmett on the Internet. I urge you to check them out. I do not incude them here…they have haunted me for 54 years! LOVE


6-year old crumpled crippled girl,

Thick-tongued, twisted body, eyes livin’ in a blur,

Ain’t no one’s shinin’ pearl,

1955 was the year,

Caused me fear and a thunderous tear,

Saw a picture of Emmett Till,

His dead brutally beaten body haunts me still,

Lookin’ upon an unrecognizable face,

Those that did him wrong and kilt him will find no grace,

Hell ain’t even the best place for them to spend eternity….this I know,

That 14 year-old man-child led my heart to heavy grief,

His soul had to go to heaven to find relief,

I could not truly understand,

Why the life was stolen from this young man,

He caused no one any harm,

There was to reason for alarm,

He was just a friendly fun-lovin’ child,

The evil ones saw him as somethin’ wild,

I was a young and innocent one,

Then the world came down on my shoulders and it felt like a ton,

Emmett Till’s death could not be undone,

I tried again and again to understand,

Why the life was stolen from this young Black man….still it eludes my sense of self,

His Black skin was the key to his demise,

Those evil white men felt killing him would be their prize,

Still this took me by surprise,

I was white-skinned and only six,

I was unaware of them evil tricks,

Why would white folks kill black folks because of skin color,

For days and years I would wonder and wonder….and I still don’t get it!

Emmett I am so sorry you had to die,

Your untimely death still brings a tear to my eye,

Please know that your death was not in vain,

It brought an awareness without refrain,

I have learned to look at people’s heart and soul,

Skin color to me don’t play no role,

I live my life with a major goal,

Tryin’ hard to spread the word of Peace, Love, Justice, Truth, and Freedom,

This be hard work, and I wonder when it will come,

But I ain’t quittin’ that’s for sure,

I whispered you that promise as a 6-year old girl,

I hope your soul rests in a peaceful loving place,

I hope forever that you are surrounded with merciful grace. 1-2-10; BFW

7 thoughts on “Emmett Till & Lost Innocence; a Poem

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