The sound of a bullet goes out my door and walks up my street. It buys from the corner store and heads where friends meet.

bullet
A protester dressed as the Statue of Liberty plays dead in the street during a demonstration against gun violence, San Francisco, California, 24 March 2018 (AP Photo/Josh Edelson)

By Naudika Williams

The sound of a bullet
Moves like a casual walk.
It goes out my door
And walks up my street.
It buys from the corner store
And heads where friends meet.

The sound of a bullet
Talks like a relative.
It visits us daily
And speaks to our kin,
Sharing our blood
Underneath all our skin.

The sound of a bullet
Echos like high school.
It attends every class
And makes new friends.
If we don’t pass
It will trigger an end.

The sound of a bullet
Rings like justice.
It patrols neighborhoods
And targets its prey:
Innocent black folk,
On just any day.

The sound of a bullet
Isn’t the voice of a black kid.
I go out my door
And walk up my street.
I buy from the corner store
And go where friends meet.

The sound of a bullet
Sounds like violence.
Out my door,
Up my street,
From the corner store,
Until we meet.

***

Author’s note: I wrote this poem after hearing peers share similar stories of violence in their communities. It reminds me of the daily fear that gun violence has become normalized, and I hope by sharing my story that we can take more tangible steps in addressing the issue. 

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

  1. What emotions does the author feel?
  2. Why is it difficult for the United States to regulate or restrict the use of guns?
  3. What are the gun laws in your country? Are civilians permitted to own and use guns? If so, in what circumstances?

Naudika WilliamsNaudika Williams, a delegate of the International Congress of Youth Voices, is a writer and poet raised in the San Francisco Bay area. When she is not exploring her humanity through sci-fi and fantasy in her writing, she’s a wanderer, a daydreamer and a community college student at Laney College.

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