This poem was originally featured on For Harriet. It was written by Candice Bledsoe in memory of slain black youth Sophia Brown. To read Brown’s story, click here. 

By: Candice Bledsoe

The dove weeps for a soul that was lost.
It is the ultimate cost.
So many more it fears,
the hollow cry of Sophia’s tears.

Here cry long before the day that she died.
Before she swung by on her ride,
“Tis the O’le Ship of Zion. Get on board, Sophia King. Get on Board.”
Survivors point their fingers towards the bottomless pit of shame and degradation.

Shh. Don’t you hear her? It’s Sophia.
She’s crying.
I can even see the tears strolling down her cheek.
She’s praying for those who are mentally weak.
Or disabled. Or challenged. Or whatever we are going to label today and cross out tomorrow.
Do you mind if I whisper something in your ear, “Can you truly hear Sophia King’s tears?”
I can hear them as loud as the trumpet is silent.
I can see them as clear as the water is dirty.
Every time I see the Vietnam vet on the corner talking to his dog.
And I see the short yellow bus that everyone at school makes fun of.

It’s like a thorn in my side.
Why hide in the backroom like they did your Uncle Leroy?
Remember how they labeled him “special?”
I hear the melody of her crying and moaning,
her naked body fell to the ground that caught blood.
Feeling the hate that stopped the love,
Sophia heard the echoes of the weeping doves.

Click here to read the rest.