How (A Man’s World)

“It’s a man’s world,”
they say,

But someone still
Needs to teach
The little ones,
Gender irrelevant,
How to do,
To survive,
To get by,
When a “man” is gone,
Not present,
Never present,
Or passed on;
What of little girls never taught
To change a tire;
Or mow the lawn?
We teach her
To understand dependence,
Believe it,
Then rip off the illusion
With age;
Man, woman
Mortality is the great equalizer,
Teach the little ones, all:


Your glory
Is tangled up with my fear,
Is cast from the cuffs on people my color,
I hurt knowing this is how you think
Justice looks,
I would implore you
To look again,
But I realize there are blinders
That would prevent you
From seeing things like me,
I don’t want to make your mind like mine,
I just wish you could see,
The invisible ink that’s colored
A corrupted system,
In its very design,
I fear the locked doors,
Because in this system,
It would not be hard
For one of them to be mine.

“We Are All the Same”

We want to say
“We are all the same,”
And believe it with our core,
It’s the message we were taught from cut and pasted MLK,
We don’t see the whole picture
If we close our eyes and assert the truth of our sameness,
But are we all the same?
Not in experience,
I cannot say I’ve lived a day in your shoes,
To appreciate how life is as you,
Human, sentient, even then variation makes our experiences
Location, soci political climate,
Characteristics that dictate our place in it,
Social qualifiers that mark our skin, our minds, our bodies, our heritage,
And the histories behind them,
Must not be glossed over,
It must be worked through,
To see the truth beneath,
And the real meaning meant
Of “we are all the same”.


Some can say
“I don’t
Want to
hear it,
See it,
be reminded,
Think about things outside
Of my control”,
“I am comfortable here”,
In ignorant complacency,
Not thinking from another’s point of view,
“This is my space”,
Of chosen apathy,
“I can sugar coat,
Pick and choose
what I subject my mind to”,
Some can forget,
Can remain ignorant,
Can be the fish that swim
Never aware that there is water,
That is their privilege at play,
But I cannot
Remain blind,
My multiple identities remind me every day,
And being aware is my burden,
And I know
I have privileges too,
But I count being awake
As one of them

Leaving Master’s House

All my self doubt,
Desire to prove
My worth
Was always part of the plan,
To drive me deep into the invisible Master’s hand,
That I should feel an ache of need
Where it need not be.
But from youth
I questioned,
Reverse engineered,
Dismantled my world to try to see,
What others might find to be wrong with me,
And I backed myself into the corner,
To the planned “tragic” position,
But this time I was not alone,
In the corner I found,
And I put a mirror up to self and surroundings,
To see the thick of oppression,
We are swimming in the deep end of,
The oppression that from birth guilts the innocent
Into assimilation,
Without their knowledge or consent;
I am in the same colonial waste as my siblings,
with differing side effects from the toxins,
My color, my pedigree, my gender, disability, sexuality
are all just ways to peg me,
But how I view them does change the game,
I have my own damn tools,
And I am leaving master’s house.

All of Our America II

Wake up to the realization
That things are often
Not as they seem,
White picket fences
Are redlined
With a much darker history
Dark like burnt cork
Dark like the black night of masked midnight rides,
But also dark, with stars guiding
Like an underground railroad run,
Our history is our history,
We cannot cherry pick the plot,
But we can from our ends figure out how to continue the story

America was always a complex experiment,
A wild unruly flower
Largely grown from blood and tears,
And blood and tears still water her today,
It is how they are shed that
Makes the difference

Mapping a family tree
Going back centuries
Becomes a test of how much truth
One wishes to open up,
It’s a Pandora’s box of past
That leaves us staring face to face at times
With the sins of the mother and father,
Wondering how amends can be made for past wrong,
When guilt is a well that keeps dredging deeper
But our past is our past
And sometimes the good is not,
Even cannot be recorded,
And our past is still ours to handle,
We are living knee deep in it,
still collecting and paying for the past our own eyes may have never seen,
It was not our place to be there,
But rather to be here,
Being actors, witness to the present,
And reflectors on the past
Watchmen for our now,
To ensure better choices,
The best choices may be made to impact the future,

It is all connected,
And it is our responsibility,
As Americans, as world citizens, as humans,
As sentient beings to ensure we are guided wisely,
By not guilt, or raw anger,
But by complex thought
On what to do with the lessons and emotions evoked from the American past,
in this present,

It is all of our past,
It always has been,
Though history has affected all unequally,
It is our past to take on,
Our past as a present to grapple with,
In order to become closer together as a single entity,
As siblings,
Who can handle reality,
Who can allocate responsibility,
Who can be the e pluribus unum aspired to,
We are a people of all Nations,
It is remembering that which is the challenge,
And truly realizing that
This is
all of our America