Thanatophobia

A psychiatrist reflects on the fears resulting from real life experiences...

POETRY FOR INCLUSION

Mama!
Mama!
My collum is crushed.
My collum is crushed.


Breathe George
Just breathe

Mama!
Mama!
My Black lungs are filled with soot.
My Black body is now laid to rest.

Doctor!
Doctor!
I am in pain.
I am in pain.

Relax Susan
Just relax

Doctor!
Doctor!
I am one of you.
Hear me
Listen to me
See me

Judas!
Judas!
My prayer hands are bleeding
My prayer hands are bleeding

I did what I had to do.
I did what I felt was right.

Judas!
Judas!
Charleston mourns
the faithful Black nine

Buffalo!
Buffalo!
Odium fills our store
Odium fills our store

I do not want to be replaced
Just don’t want to be replaced

Buffalo!
Buffalo!
Another ten Black
Souls gone too soon

Officer!
Officer!
I have a license to carry
I have a license to carry

Philando just obey
Just obey and do not reach

Pop pop!
Pop pop!
Pop pop!
Pop!

Officer!
Officer!
Why Why Why?
Why, Why, Why?

Say her name!
Say her name!

Another knee to
Sandra’s neck
Another bullet with
Breonna’s name on it

We are Black and beautiful
But we fear
Death
While —
Speaking
Signaling
Shopping
Serving…

A never ending
Story

Dr Clark is an outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health-Upstate and clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, and he currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion section editor and advisory board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.