Trayvon Triptych (a poem) – The Feminist Wire

Trayvon Triptych (a poem)

By Quincy Scott Jones

 Scott Jones-Trayvon Triptych

I. George Zimmerman Presses the Mute Button

They say I was angry

The same country that promotes

drunks and pot heads to President


The same eleven o’clock

news that shows sobering

views of Trayvon in his hoodie


next to sketches of the same height

weight race under the crawl of “Still at Large”

They talk about the bar fights


remind me of domestic charges and  police exams

So what if I am angry?

Or thought I was


cause I never saw anger till

I saw that kid’s fists

and I don’t know how you get so much so young


but he could have punched a sink hole the size of Florida

with enough chains he could have dragged the entire nation into the sea



II. Conversion of a Bullet


I weigh the same as seven Skittles

a hundredth of an Arizona tall ice tea.

In a fraction of a second


I am faster than cable news commentary

can outrun any child’s cry

but most of my life is spent


confined in a chamber

jammed metal to metal with my brothers

shivering in the same nightmare:


Will it hurt when the hammer falls?

What happens when the trigger’s released?

Imagine my relief after the fire


when I felt the warmth of human flesh

nestled in the boy’s chest

found rest in a ready-made womb.


What should I care whose life I devour?

In the flash I was greater than God



III. The Phone Call Trayvon Never Made


Hello?  Police?

There’s a white man following me

and I think he’s got a gun


trying to do me like Malcolm

like Medgar Evers in my own driveway

Drive me away like Assata Shakur


I think she’s Tupac’s mom

Hello Mom?

I’m not sure but I think I have been sentenced to thug life


Hello Dad?

Did you not have the words to warn me of this much fear?

My phone is dying


My text messages will be used against me in a court of law

My attorney will be appointed to me by a state

That had a slave code before it was a state


No I don’t understand the rights you have given to me

No I don’t understand why I must remain silent



QSJ photoQuincy Scott Jones’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the African American Review and the Journal of Pan African Studies and such anthologies as Draw to Marvel:  Poems from Comic Books, Heroics: Strange Tales of Absurd Superheroes, From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth and Let Loose on the World: Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75. With Nina Sharma Jones he co-created the Nor’easter Exchange:  a multicultural, multi-city reading series.   His first book, The T-Bone Series, was published by Whirlwind Press in 2009.