When is Daddy Coming Back?

Death row inmate Marcus Robinson listens in 2012 as a judge concludes that racial bias played a role when he was sentenced to death. Robinson was resentenced to life, but he was sent back to death row years later after the state's Racial Justice Act was repealed. (RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER / MCT VIA GETTY IMAGES).

A Poem about Racial Injustice
By Hannah M. Childs

Hannah is a freshman at Northwest High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. She enjoys writing, drawing, playing the piano, singing and spending time with her brother watching anime.

The grass was green, the pond was blue, I was happy, and my daddy was too.
He looked at me and smiled, I did the same.
This was truly a happy day.
Flashing lights approached us, red and blue, Those lights were beautiful, I would later regret thinking.
A man came out in blue, he seemed mean.
My daddy smiled at me and talked to the man for a while, Until he never came back.
He went with the man, with his hands behind his back.
I wonder, when is daddy coming back?
Mama ran to me, in tears, yelling something awful.
I went home, confused and curious, Mama went home, angry and on the phone.
When is daddy coming back?
Days passed, then weeks, he still didn’t come back.
Months passed, my heart filled with anger, Our dad left us, for the man in blue.
Mama cried, I cried too.
We did not know what to do.
Months later, we went to a room, A big room, with lots of people, A big man sat in a big chair, he had a hammer.
A lady asked, how old are you? I put two fingers up.
Tears went down her face, I wondered why? I then saw daddy, I smiled.
I knew he didn’t leave us after all.
Daddy looked at me with sadness in his eyes, but he still smiled. I was in that room, for days it seemed.
Too much talking, I couldn’t understand any of it.
Then I heard the big man with the hammer say GUILTY!
He slammed that hammer with a passion.
I jumped from my seat and saw mama crying loudly.
Mama jumped up and yelled, she yelled louder than before.
I covered my ears, I was scared.
Everything went like a blur, too much was going on.
But one thing I remember was seeing mama.
She was lying on the floor, and she said one thing to me.
Baby, your daddy is gone.
It wasn’t until my days got shorter, and I got older, I truly understood what she meant.
Daddy didn’t leave us, the blue man took him away from us, For no reason whatsoever.


  1. This was quite an emotional and passionate poem. While reading it, I could easily picture the series of events in my head due to the incredible detail and powerful imagery. I could also feel the emotions the little girl and her mother were feeling. I agree with one of the comments that although the child is only two, she is losing a piece of her innocence by losing her father to law enforcement. I think this could be a great piece to share in class as unfortunately, some of our students may be able to relate to this in their own lives. This poem could give them a sense that they are not alone, but also shed some light towards the inequality within our justice system and insight the need for change within our students. Overall, it was a beautifully written piece. Well done!

  2. This was an immensely powerful piece. I found it incredibly sad to read. Throughout the piece it is interesting to read about how innocence is lost in sense. This is brought up through the idea of the pretty lights, seeing her dad again, her father still smiling, etc. it is a powerful piece that brings in the controversial ideas of law enforcement. I think that this is something that would come to light in understanding what people with incarcerated family go through, in order to better understand how this may have contributed to their beliefs about law enforcement. Negative interactions lead to negative reactions.

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