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A Most Racist Boy

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

born from a woman
and to a man
one from an island
one from the land
i was only a baby
one day i grew up
but was i a just man?

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

i saw you as a child
you rode the bus
you had no friends
i had more than enough
you lived the black
I lived the white
mine easy, yours tough

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

but i didn’t know better
ignorance sleeps well
it wasn’t anything
it was just your skin
you had a loving heart
you had a thinking brain
you just needed a friend

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

but that wasn’t me
i never did ask
let’s throw a ball
let’s play catch
you were nothing
only the bottom of the box
the shadow of an unlit match

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

what about your father?
what about your mother?
what did they say
about boys like me
did they say i was something
a child, standing atop a hill
playing king, your mortal enemy

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

i never read about it
but god told me
it wasn’t a dream
it was just a feeling
something happened
and it wasn’t good
it wasn’t about healing

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

but one day the match was lit
the shadow became light
oppression was his fuel
and his heart did so burn
but MARTIN said purify
while MALCOLM said fight
which way would he turn

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

the slave of man
with the truth of knowledge
as JOB survived in the belly
would forgiveness, the nectar of grief
be too slow in coming
or would so too revenge
the golden calf of disbelief

i didn’t know the meaning of the word

Comments

Joanie on June 28, 2020:

Beautiful deep thinking words. We knew a boy that taught us the meaning of the word.

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