A Kentucky Poet on Abolition

by Letonia Jones October 26, 2022

A Kentucky Poet on Abolition


“Each of us is worth more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”


- Equal Justice Initiative founder, Bryan Stevenson.


Baby’s Breath


Clang, clang, clang

i hear the chains 

before i see

the boy


i wonder 

whose baby will waddle 

into this



Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle 

i hear the feet

before i see 

the weight


of the world

on shoulders not 

yet broad enough

to carry a thing


There are scores of Black 

boys here called predators 

called     prisoners    called 


never called children


i still smell mother’s milk 

on baby’s breath

Black boys paraded 

as men in jumpsuits


They wear orange and red 

sorrow and pain

Black children denied fear 

and grief and love

and time


Jangle, jangle, jangle

i hear the keys 

before I see

a boy


locked away 

locked inside

locked outside 

of his right to






-by letonia jones, board member