Brother’s Keeper: A Poem

February 6, 2023

By Nicole


This poem was written for Tyre Nichols who was beaten to death at the hands of five Black police officers. 

Brother’s Keeper

The clashing of metal to skin pierces the sky

The tearing of flesh from bone rips the evening cool

The gnashing and gnarling of teeth accompany 

This horrific melody 

But no one comes to his aid

The night air sprayed with blood is stung by the victim’s cries

The screams for his mother swaddle his lungs as the tears stream from his eyes

But they only laugh in glee, you see

They haven’t a soul or a heart for his plea

Their inner monster, clothed with blue, is hidden behind badges of authority

They think these badges will justify their unfathomable, innate cruelty

He is a man who is unarmed

He hasn’t caused anyone any harm

And yet they target him for this demise

Their own amusement at the cost of his life

The muddy chocolate hue of his skin matches theirs

But is now painted in red 

As the brown turns black and blue, his pain is beyond comprehension

He is almost dead

What level of self-hatred can exist to cause one to batter one’s own?

The abuse of power is clearly seen

If hearts are not changed, it doesn’t matter the skin tone

Is it the same murderous blood that ran through the veins of Cain? 

Did it course through theirs, too, leading them into a belligerent rage? 

Instead of being their brother’s keeper, they circled and caged him in

Making him the brunt of their brutality

Making him the mark of their sin

You may donate to Tyre’s loved ones at:

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