Say My Name

Say My Name

Grace Brenner ('21)

Note: This poem is written in loving memory and in honor of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd—two men recently killed in what can only be described as viscous acts of modern racism. I hope that telling their story will help in pursuit of justice, remembrance, and awareness for two men who deserve it more than anything—and for the many others whose names have not yet made the headlines. 


When the Streets return to Normal

And the City looks the Same 

When the Screaming Silence falls around You

I ask You: Say My Name.

When Your Dream of Justice scares You

And your head, You keep it Bowed

Rise Up against the Lethal Nothing

And say it; say it Loud. 


When the Secrets of My Story

Fade from Your Front Page—

Let Your Dream of Justice burn within You

Let it ignite Our Broken Age. 

And when You glory in the Promise

Of a Nation They call Free—

I ask You kindly to consider

What that Nation did to Me.

Before You praise its History

Before You preach its Fame

I ask You why I had to Die—

I ask you: Say My Name. 


Say My Name in Solemn Spirits

Say My Name and See—

The way that Tough and Trusted Man

Pinned Me by his knee.

Say My Name with Soul and Valor

For the Mother who lost a Son

When Two Men chased Me down and Shot Me

On My morning run.


When You see that Picture Frame

Empty, Say My Name—

And when You’re Silenced by the Crowd

Say it, Say it Loud. 


I Gaze upon The Stars Tonight

I Wonder and I Think

I ponder Answers and Unknowns,

I teeter on The Brink

I wish that I could bring Them back

Those Angels, up Above

I wish that I could save those Men

For all They did was Love

But as of Now all that I know

Is that it’s Time to Fight

It’s Time to Fight for What We Know

Is Fair and Just and Right

And as of Now I will not Sit;

My Dreams not yet Destroyed

Until There’s Justice for Ahmaud

And Justice for George Floyd.