Gen Z's Strange Fruit

Hi! My name is Bella, and I attend Temple University, where I'm studying to become a high school English teacher. When I'm not writing or reading, I'm taking a nap or sifting through mountains of ... [+]

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Poetry
We grew up glued to grains. Chipped pixels depicting clips and pictures. Last minutes of the latest black bodies splintered on Twitter. Cops buried bullets into children’s tendons, manufactured kids into weapons. The blue Armageddon with their historical harnesses herding
arsenal carcasses. News stations slapped Bandaids over critical wounds, transformed stiff kids into criminal bones, segregated unarmed and unharmed when “look, the altercation turned physical,” slowed heads into cynical stone, worried the people who fit the description of suspicion they’d be just another digital visual shown.

This is Gen Z’s “Strange Fruit.” Here is our garden.
Flowers uprooted potential scattered joy polluted
muscle chunks on the stoop
weeds of fear blooming through bloodshed locusts of hopelessness mothers burying their lifeless brain globs disperse in the dirt
ancient soil poisoning seeds cursed before birth.

Here is our generation split: into the dead kids walking, into the futures already ripped.