the following is an excerpt from my play, 'the women in me'. it was written the morning after george zimmerman's trial.

it was written as i sat, with a pain in my chest and a pain in my belly, thinking of trayvon martin. thinking of my former students. thinking of my future children.

tonight, i am filled with many of the same thoughts. same pains.

tonight, i can't find new words. only old words that i wish weren't apropos.


I woke up the morning after with a heaviness in my stomach and a churning in my chest.

I woke up the morning after and looked once again to make sure what I had read the night before was right, was still true.

I woke up the morning after looking for more of an explanation, more of something other than the words not guilty.

I woke up the morning after hoping that our justice system could come to another conclusion, could acknowledge the doubts and the death and somehow bring justice to both.

Instead I was reminded once again that a young man died walking home and half the country thinks he deserved it. Half the country put him on trial instead. Half the country saw the words not guilty and thought that meant that young man was guilty.

I was reminded that a young man died walking home and the man that killed him will walk home hundreds of times, with the gun that killed that young man in his back pocket.

I was reminded that a young man died and instead of wishing him peace, some speculate that he was a dope fiend, armed with concrete and skittles.

I was reminded that a young man died and that he reminds me of my students, the ones I used to work with, the ones that will be seventeen soon. The ones that wear hoodies and hats, like rap, and have to walk home. The ones that will be deemed suspicious.

The morning after I thought of my womb and my urge to have children. My urge to create and continue to populate.

I thought of my urge, my clock, my yearning, and I remembered that in my womb a young man like the one who died walking home can be made.

In my womb, in my body, he will grow, protected, warm, loved. But one day he will have to leave, my body will force him out, and hands will tear him from me…and he will be in the world, a black boy in the world, and I will protect him, shelter him, keep him warm and loved, but he will want to walk home one day. He will want to wear a hoodie. He will want some candy. He will want to live, to walk free, to become a man on his own. And one day my baby boy will be a young man walking home at night. He may wear hoodies and hats and like rap.

And you. What will you see when he is walking home to me? 

AuthorCharly Simpson