I wish I’d asked your name.

I wish I’d asked your name

Your bright green sign spoke to me
Like a personal hello, a handshake, a hug
A brief one on one connection
Amongst the sea of people

The image of the young black boy
The same boy, possibly a second
An infant in your embrace, marred
Like a photographer’s mastery of depth of field

Your face younger
Your hair less grey
You’ve been marching a long time

For blocks
Stops and starts
Varying chants
Amongst the thousands
From a distance, we walked together

Perhaps you were resting
Or possibly taking it all in
The enormity of it
Hope that this might be the change

You
The young black boys
Your bright green sign
Stopped me in my stride
Pulled me to the side

The name of the park
The number of rounds shot
One son dead
One son survived

In the roar of people and sounds
Your soft words
Constant, continually, it’s still happening
Heartache that doesn’t get to go away
A bond you didn’t choose with far too many others

I cried, we hugged
An embrace unlocked, I marched
Struck by your eloquence
Convergence of stories
I thought about the Charleston Nine

I wish I’d asked your name
I think I will call you Grace

~ Bridget Celeste
#Blackwithflowers

Bridget’s poem about the LA Gun March and meeting Rhonda (her real name), sometime after the March.

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