Please Don’t Shoot

by Rod Smith

If you see my (black) son

any time of the day

or in the early evening

riding his (red) bike

please don’t shoot him.

He’s as free as the wind

and loves his (diverse) neighborhood

and knows it block-by-block

and so if you glimpse him whizzing by

on his bike

or weaving side-to-side

on his roller-blades

– which are the only things he really wanted

for his thirteenth birthday –

please, don’t shoot.

He’s really good at both

– bikes and roller-blades –

and I assure you he’s not trying

to get away and nor is he coming at you

and he’s definitely not dangerous.

Even though he’s

moving very quickly

and even though he’s black

he’s just making his way home

and enjoying the last few weeks of

his summer break from school.

Please don’t shoot.

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