Granted

Featured Illustration: Titus Kaphar

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We take human life

For granted

We treat a mother’s child

Like they’re an isolated entity

 

We see

Through hollow eyes

And empty hearts

 

As if one teardrop

Doesn’t stain their clothes

Or one death

Doesn’t ripple into more

 

A life

Wrapped by skin

And blanketed

By her warmth

 

Effortlessly stripped

And torn from hands

The agony tugging on her heart

Yields a new void

 

As if 

There’s an ample of us

For lives to cease

Because of a war

The colour of skin

Your mother had bestowed

Or the God you pray to

In order to feel at home

 

Is the reason for a life

For someone’s child

To be no more

 

Their presence lures over you

With an aching cold

Their skin 

Into ashes

But their spirits

Deprived of a home

. . .

We’ve become desensitized to the image of people dying. We’ve grown accustomed to the persistence of racism and inequality in our society. We have created a barrier between us and the rest of the world. People’s identity is forged on the color of their skin, their status, and first impressions. We forget that we are all humans, trying to simply survive the adversities that we are left to deal with. Our mindset ripples into actions that set a domino effect of pain and destruction to not only the person, but their families and their mothers. We relentlessly hurt other people, without thinking about the other person, and the imprint it leaves on their family.

Imagine taking care of a child, devoting your energy to molding a person you hope society will take care of, only to witness their death on television. Imagine the trepidation they feel about something similar happening to them or their recollections of their child now painted in a somber blue. 

This is what the loss of a child does to a mother, and creates in society. This is an unspoken truth that echoes across the world.