Products Of The System

**I wrote this poem after I was robbed at point blank with a gun held in my face at my third shift job at the airport as a cashier.  And then being held suspect by the cops.**

Products of The System

You aimed your weapon
at me.
First, concentrated
on my chest.
This gets my attention.

It’s about 1:20 a.m.
and honestly, I was
half asleep until
you walked up to my
toll booth window
and pulled your
semi-auto on me.

Re-focusing your aim
from my chest to my
face, to show you
meant business.

I took notice myself
of your intent and
you didn’t even have
to waste your breath
on telling me to fill
the bag.

All of this went down
so fast.
I was literally by
myself at Park and
Ride 3.

A state of shock
had settled in my
body. My PTSD symptoms
from the past surfaced.

I was having trouble
breathing and I was
just trying to maintain
focus on my breathing,
so, as to not go into
an anxiety attack.

Everyone says the same shit.                                                                                                        They’ll say well,
“I would have been a mess”.
or “I would have did this”.

Reality of it all, is
you’re going to do exactly
what your mind and body
coordinate and decide to
do.

The most ironic thing
was the experience felt
surreal. As if, I was
not present.

I didn’t give in
and pray to invisible
things I don’t believe in.

All, I wished for
was not to die in that
man-made glass encased box.

And not to be slaughtered
over the dollars that I
must earn for a mere living.

There’s that unfortunate
similarity I share with
the suspect. We were
both there for the same
reason.

Albeit, we both
went about getting
our money in different
ways.

Him, the outlaw
and me the wage slave.
Neither of us being
truly free.

–The detective focused his investigation on me. The robber only got away with approximately $120 and I had made my 2 $500 drops in the safe that night before I was robbed. The RDU police ( Raleigh Durham Airport ) didn’t arrive on scene until almost 11 minutes after I was robbed.

Because the suspect got away on foot, the detective decided to pressure me and did interrogate me that same night that I was robbed. I didn’t know my rights then. But, all of us no matter your ethnicity or place in class, should know your basic rights when it comes to dealing with the law. The police had not read my miranda rights. They hadn’t charged me with anything and they kept me there for hours questioning me.

I have now been “awarded” my disability status since then as I suffer from more than one mental illness and physical issues as well but I tried to explain to the detective that I suffered from such issues and was under medical supervision. My mother told me I should “cooperate” with the detective because if I didn’t that it wouldn’t look good. I reminded her that he still hadn’t charged me with anything and was trying to get an attorney, but they wanted a lot of money I didn’t have to represent me. My finance spoke to his cousin whom is a officer and his cousin had the audacity to say that I must be guilty if the detective is spending so much time focusing on me in the investigation.

Of course,  I have choice words for his cousin as I never liked cops for the longest time. I’d seen them only act like total dicks from by way of Richmond, Va and down to where I live now in Raleigh, NC. I know it looks like minorities are the ones that cops seem to have a hard on to beat on, kill and throw in jail. But, I’m part Native American and I’ve seen things from both sides as I’m fair in complexion and people just make assumptions based on what they see instead of what they know.

I suppose it comes with an advantage as from what I’ve seen, it’s not an easy life being red, brown or black. I won’t lie. It wasn’t easy to know that my life rested in someone’s hands that I had no way knowing of their intention. The incident did trigger some PTSD issues for me, but I was at the time going through trauma focused therapy and what I did was wrote a poem about how the situation made me feel and it was through that realization that made it easier to cope and push that experience behind me.

 

 

Bearers

Stains and collections of mistakes.
The blood we shed
so much easier
than what is carried.

Men folk don’t know
the strength required to
be a woman.

Blood washes more easy
from their hands.
Just like it’s easier
for them to walk away
from a life they helped
to make.

You go put a baby
inside her belly
with all your ideas
of what a man should
be for it to grow into the
person you wished
you could’ve been.

**This poem is going to be published in a chapbook and is owned by the writer, Vita.**