Ahmaud Arbery: Trial Verdict Just Announced

Editor’s Note: Dr. Steven T. Moore, English professor at Abilene Christian University, wrote the following poem in response to the conviction of three men in the February 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Moore also wrote a poem following Arbery’s death. Click here to read the first poem.


Black people know the taste of smoke and blood, 
that lingering tang, polluted fumes, thick oil
and mud mingled together, coursing inside 
our mouths whenever verdicts have been announced. 
Today I’m unemotional, unsure of how to move 
my body, wasn’t expecting this outcome after hearing 
many others throughout the years. I finally stand, 
look outside, running shoes in hand, uncertain 
if I should go jogging this afternoon where insecure 
clouds don’t know if they should rain at this hour. 
I look up again, deep and silent skies, see doves in flight, 
drops of blood on their wings. They have grown 
weary of escorting black bodies beyond that hidden place,
burned into the horizon that never forgets. 

Dr. Steven T. Moore

Dr. Steven T. Moore is a professor in the Department of Language and Literature and director of the McNair Scholars Program at Abilene Christian University

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