New Poem: Am Not

jesuis

I try not to be overly critical of those at least trying to put themselves in the shoes of others. The problem is the attempts seem so shallow, like well, I’ll let the poem say it…

Am Not

I am not a dozen dead
gunned down in a Paris office
dying for my right to punch down
to kick the kicked
and speak the truth
as I see it
even through muddy glasses
coughing blood bubbles
as I laugh my way to hell

I am not Mike Brown
Trayvon Martin
or Renisha McBride
my ivory skin an armor
against the irrational fears
of my neighbors
never forcing me to defend
my very existence

I am not a child of Gaza
praying that the peace will last
at least long enough for me to grow
to choose a side
if I am even given a choice
head Southeast for the Most High
hoping beyond hope it will not be crushed
by rubble and rockets
before the night is done

No I get to wade ankle deep
in the waters of justice
just enough to feel it clean between my toes
always knowing I can step back
to the safety of the beach
if the waters run too cold
or fast
or high
for me to bear
I am not one forced to swim
against the currents of history
am not pushed under
by the crowds on the shore

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