Esther Johnson | WE LOST AHMAUD, 2020 Vallum Award for Poetry Honourable Mention


we lost ahmaud
i cried to my momma the night we lost ahmaud
it’s unfair unjust uncivil
it’s a modern day genocide
the victims are my people
why can’t we run in peace?

we lost juice
i cried to my daddy the night we lost juice
when they made us feel lesser than since birth,
how can a black man live a life they filled with pain
instead he’s filled with codeine, addys and percs
why can’t we die in peace?

we lost breonna
i cried to my sister the night we lost breonna
they raided the wrong home
an accident they said
“we promise we don’t condone”
why can’t we live in peace?

we lost x
i cried to my brother the night we lost x
he was gonna be a dad
he spoke words of wisdom to black youth
but was assassinated young over a LV bag
why can’t we drive in peace?

we lost pop
i cried to my cousin the night we lost pop
we’re all we got left, but we don’t got trust
black crime they call it
wo they can finally blame us
why can’t we sleep in peace?

we lost george floyd
i cried to my friend last night about george floyd
4 cops, one with a knee on his nick
we protest retweet retaliate
somehow we can’t keep this system in check
why can’t we exist in peace?

we lost houdini
tonight is the night we lost houdini
and i can’t sleep
where’s the peace?

Author’s Bio

Esther Johnson is a freshman nursing student currently studying at Howard University in Washington, DC. Born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Esther now resides in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Esther has a passion for social justice and is heavily involved in Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) work; her goal is to become a Nurse Anesthetist and contribute to the work done to improve the experiences of black people and other minority groups in healthcare. In her spare time, she enjoys writing music and poetry, singing, playing sports, as well as travelling and learning new languages.