Our Cry: Gynnya

by Rosalyn Huff

[cw: anti-Black violence, death]

Author’s Note: This poem is inspired by the death of Gynnya McMillen. Last year, she was found dead in her cell in a Kentucky juvenile detention center (my home state) at only 16 years old. Her name and story have lingered in my mind ever since. 

“Say her name!” Her family cries.
“Gynnya.”
Our men call for help every day.
We come. We carry. We care.
We need help, too.
They cower.
“Say her name!” Her family cries.
“Gynnya!”
Our men are stolen from us every day.
We rally. We riot. We rage.
We are stolen, too.
They retreat.
“Say her name!” Her family cries.
“GYNNYA!”
Our men fail us every day.
We fuss. We fight. We forgive.
We never fail.
They forget.
“Hear our cry! Heed our call! Say her name!”
Gynnya.
Gynnya!
GYNNYA!
Hear our cries. Heed our calls. Say our names.
Love us, too.

Author bio: Rosalyn Huff is a black first-year in CC intending to major in Human Rights.

 

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