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No Retreat, No Surrender

I’m conflicted.

I watch as an officer hands me a ticket,

Stealing money from me for a crime I didn’t know I was committing.

He gets to drive away accomplished and feeling happy

While my brain is quickly turning towards insanity.

I don’t have the money to pay this two-hundred-dollar fine.

I’m not a repeat offender, so why couldn’t the officer let it slide?

Then I realized, it’s all a part of the system.

Corrupt government hiring corrupt officers

Who suffocate the goodness out of the good ones still fighting.

My skin tone makes me accept that I’m not getting a warning.

My gender lets me know I’m not soft enough to get out of this one.

My fatness is too hideous for the officer to turn a blind eye.

My age means I’m too dumb and rebellious to let it slide.

My faith is irrelevant because they don’t believe in such things.

My God! My God! They don’t believe in such things!

Other conclusions I understand, but how can one think such things?

To never know the fullness of the goodness in people.

Only to be left with a simplistic view:

Every single person has an issue and is evil.

Officer, officer, I understand your frustration.

I’ve been dealing with it too ever since they took God out of education.

Now my brothers and sisters are harassed for bringing Bibles to school.

For preaching Jesus Christ is Lord openly to those with a more open view.

My president claims my faith but does nothing to show it.

When he opens his mouth, we know he’s about y’all and all know it.

It’s all about the votes, the publicity, the power;

About the next presidency to ruin a nation and send it to its final hour.

It’s all about selfishness and the pleasure of our flesh.

But don’t get me wrong, I was once at your steps.

I speak to you as a free man and not as one who lacks experience.

Free to see the goodness in people despite the temptation to be delirious.

Despite the temptation to be bitter;

Despite the temptation to be a quitter.

No noose around my neck, for we went through that already.

We as black people having to hide our babies

From the very men who are called to protect and serve.

Now all they want to do is cover up murder.

I’m tempted to hate you all for the money you’ve stolen from me,

But then I remember if I hate y’all, I hate my family.

I guess I should call you lucky, but I only use the term blessed.

Because I believe in a Savior who’s already put our greed to rest.

It wasn’t a noose squeezing just above His chest,

But nails hammered into His hands

And a crown of thorns digging into His skin.

You wave me off for spewing my nonsense.

I’ve come to expect it, but it doesn’t mean I won’t witness.

I am the midget against the giant,

The slingshot against the tank,

The arrow against the fighter jet,

And the whisper against the megaphone.

You’ll continue to ignore my pleas for mercy.

You’ll turn from the cries for gentleness and forgiveness.

Because you are now the majority and I the minority.

You have all the support in the world

While I am left on my roof after Katrina just rolled through.

He said there’d be a remnant,

A small portion scattered and swallowed like dead bodies in a whirlpool.

And yet somehow, we’re more alive than you’ll ever be.

Not because we’re better, but because He set us free,

And that is a gift great enough to calm me mentally.

Now let me put my anger to rest

And pay this ticket,

Because all this added stress isn’t worth it.

I give it to You, my Lord, Jesus Christ.

What was intended to worry me

Will not take a minute of sleep from me tonight.

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