Race in America
It’s at times like these you make me remember you’re white
When you burst into the house demanding “who?”
Who left “the trash” in the street!
“What trash?” I ask. But I already know.
I just want to see if you know
You’re interrupting my work at the computer.
Do you even see me?
You vent a mouthful of words but I only see your face
The blue veins pulsing in your pink temples
Frustration of a child who wants to know
Why he is in trouble if he wasn’t told.
“It’s alright, I was trimming the hedges. I’ll pick it up later.”
You demand assurance that I am really going to pick it up.
Now you’ve gone too far. I know my mouth is moving
But I don’t know what I’m saying, I only know what I’m thinking.
No, I don’t even know what I’m thinking
I only know what I’m feeling.
Onminiscient, I know
This is a tempest in a tea-cup.
This is pent up sexual frustration.
This is you telling me I better get my black ass
Back out there in the street and clean that mess up!
No, I’m sorry. I apologize. That wasn’t what you said.
Of course not, that last bit was all in my head.
Tread carefully. There will be another tempest.
Much worse. Feelings will get hurt.
Some things America is not ready for.
Never will be. Burry them deep.
The intersection of race and gender is a street
So dark we don’t want to go there.
We spent thirty five years cultivating our precious love.
We built it on respect. Do you hear me, RESPECT.
The kind that forgives,
the kind that overlooks each other’s frailties.
Then why do I keep wanting to go there lately
To that street? That dark, dark street.
Test the bond, see if we’re ready.
For that next conversation where there is nothing but shame.
I want to know if you are really unaware of all the little things that you do.
I want to know if I’m just crazy!
I want to know if this sense of in-fe-ri-o-ri-ty will ever go away
Will it always fester, and rear its ugly head?
No. Only when your unconscious sense of superiority
Forgets itself and calls me on the carpet
To account for sins of omission.
You want to know, does my love for you
Make me forget who you are?
Can I see you yet?
Little boy, wanting to know, if he’s in trouble
For not doing his chores.
Are we there yet?
Don’t act so surprised.
You knew we were dancing around this for thirty five years.