Published on Academy of American Poets (

For Trayvon Martin

Instead of sleeping—
I walk with him from the store.
No Skittles, thank you.

We do not talk much—
Sneakers crossing the courtyard.
Humid Southern night.

We shake hands and hug—
Ancient, stoic tenderness.
I nod to the moon.

I'm so old school—
I hang till the latch clicks like.
An unloaded gun.


Copyright © 2015 by Reuben Jackson. Used with permission of the author.


Reuben Jackson

Reuben Jackson served as curator of the Smithsonian's Duke Ellington Collection in Washington, D.C. for over twenty years. His music reviews have been published in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Jazz Times, and on All Things Considered. Jackson is also an educator and mentor with The Young Writers Project.

Date Published: 2015-04-08

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