POEM – Say Her Name, by: Lady Brion

By Brion Gill | Culture

Dec 09












Down on the South Side
Lima Ohio
The air is thick
Clogged with the oil of refineries
Train cars screeching
Against the metal of the tracks
Mamas hold tight to their babies
In the damp air of early morning
Teaching offspring the same way they were brought up
With anecdotal sayings like:
“You better watch the company you keep”
For it was such company that brought loaded guns to creep on her front yard
Warrants covering the tricycle and toy cars
That littered crabgrass

Flash grenade
Open screen
Kicks down door
Mama screams

One bullet through her
And the other through the crying baby
She was holding

Raids don’t discriminate I see
And you don’t have to be the one sought after
To get got during searching

In seven seconds
Six children
Became orphaned

Looking for daddy
A SWAT team took their mama
Everyone around town knew her as


Women are lusted after and left for dead in the streets by the very same hands
Painted with broad strokes
The darkest colors of bleak and broken,
Their homes are rendered un-whole at the hands of hollow tips
Their bodies an open hunting ground
Invaded by the muddy boots of molestation
The rifle of foreign eyes pointed at them like game
And yet the media silences women’s stories
I guess
You can not make a monster out of a mother
Or a villain out of a rape victim


Unless of course you choose to stand your ground like Marrissa
With the smell of fed up in the air
A posture
Unwilling to yield
Shoulders that have withstood the brunt of a gruesome beating before and decided
To dust themselves off
Toting a gun against your husband and abuser
Barrel pointed at crown molding
One shot
Choosing to stand your ground with a warning shot
Remembering your womb just ushered a premature baby into existence and she
deserves the one mother she’s got
Forgetting domestic violence is a lesser offense
And would lead to a 60 year sentence
Because women are mere assets
Mere property like land and premises
And needs no defenses


Women’s screams are swept into quietude
They will corkscrews our bleeding transgressions
Colors our complaints as feminism
Stomp our predicaments into myth

There are no monuments of hashtags
No rallying cries
No teddy bear street memorials
Or CNN reports and camera crews

Just the names we forgot to mention

Tarika Wilson
Rekia Boyd
Aiyana Stanley-Jones
Kayla Moore
Yvette Smith
Renisha McBride
Michelle Cusseaux
Tanisha Anderson
Sandra Bland




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About the Author

Brion Gill (also known by her stage name: Lady Brion) is the Resident Poet for LBS. She is a former debater and alumni of Howard University. Brion is also an accomplished performer and entrepreneur.She has been writing and performing poetry since age 14 and performed her poetry all around the United States and internationally. She is also the Poet Laureate of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church.