“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

4.03.2013

what's so funny 'bout peace, love & understanding?

my father's cousin married a black man and her family at first was, well,
surprised,
but they met him and he played 42 on a card table out in the yard just like he was white
and one of them,
and he laughed at the same jokes,
and after that first visit who he was had nothing to do with the color of his skin.

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she parks her car backwards in her driveway.
it's a black thing,  she once told me,
and when i asked her what that meant,
she explained it was all about getting away in a hurry just in case, you know,
and, seriously, i had to laugh,
and so did she,
and she admitted that she said that to make herself smile,
that in truth it was because she so often needed to jump start her battery,
and she wasn't lying about that,
she has more dead batteries than anyone i've ever known, black, white, or brown.
her car stares at me from across the street and i almost feel sorry for it.

the truth had nothing to do with the color of her skin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

he was white and he used a picture of the dalai lama as his avatar
and he shouted in capital letters
YOU may not think YOU are racist
and then he explained to me
why i was
President Obama's policies have been PATHETICALLY conservative, so no, that's  not what your objection is
told me his  truth as he hid behind that avatar
and told me again i may not think i myself am racist
but that i would be wrong.

The only difference between the Republican Party and the Ku Klux Klan is the thread count of their sheets.
                                                        ~ from a friend's page on Facebook

he told me 

Go cry into your Egyptian cotton pillowcases.
and i'm not even republican.

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across the street, byron leans on his car, smoking.
the humidity is almost heavy enough to keep the smoke from rising into the air,
but there is a breeze, and he leans into it, cigarette in hand, face to the sky.
i forget to notice the color of his skin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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for napowrimo, 2013
a poem a day for 30 days

9 comments:

  1. this is a mirror of our society, held up to show us the truth of who we are.

    most people are afraid to look, but you, the poet, refuse to avert your gaze. one of the things i love best about you.

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  2. Oooh....cookies....

    Don't you just love it when somebody shows you their true colors in such insipid ways?

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  3. this is stunning, riveting. i wish we could stop all this color, class warfare, spitting nonsense. i really do. don't people have anything better to do?

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  4. Great write..brings to mind "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"

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  5. You have amazing scope, you know?
    You can write about anything and everything... from the quiet beauty to the crazy complexities of life and everything in between whether it be full of joy or sorrow or anger or whimsy, and say it with such depth and grace.
    SImply amazing, you are.

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  6. Not much to be said, but you do have a way with words.

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  7. YOU have a brilliant mind. xoxoxoxo

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  8. As a black woman, I never forget the color of my skin in part because so many social messages and circumstance don't leave much room. And today, there's no angst or resentment about it. While my skin in part is how I define myself, the color of someone else's skin isn't the primary filter in how I see another because color isn't the best marker of who we are. Who we are requires we get to know the person, and who I am is shaped by my experiences, my culture, my gender, my relationships. That's why I value connecting one-on-one so much. The poet gets this. Enjoyed. Thank you.

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