#PoemADay No.58: Ignorant.


It's the same cycles,
the same nonsense,
the same misdirections,
the same conquest,
just a different Columbus,
Old Jim Crow, New Jim Crow,

but get over it,
it was just a few hundred
the Irish and the Jews, 
the Italians and them other groups
bootstrapped* up the hill,
why are blacks any different?
Even the Africans are winning.

Wait. Before you finish, which ones are you referring to?
The ones that were dragged across continents in chains, 
sodomized and raped, 
left to die in tight ship corridors in their own bodily waste, 
the ones that survived the murderous, tyrannical foundations
of this blessed country or
the ones who didn't? 

I'ma let you finish,
but clarify for me before we continue.
The Africans you refer to, 
if they aren't the ones who had their lineages, tongues, and names
stripped from them,
then you must be talking about the other ones,
the focused ones
who can't help but achieve
until it kills them
because they remember what it felt like
to sell peanuts on the 15° streets of Times Square,
because they had five mouths to feed
and didn't care how many repulsive things were said to their face,
or how many applications were thrown away as fast as they were received
because employers noticed their last names,
you must be talking about the ones
who left their villages and families and countries, 
where the color of their skin
was a gift,
to seek opportunity in the name of the American Dream,
but found little more than disrespect, the IRS, and black contempt
from sea to shining sea,

or maybe you meant the Africans in-between,
the hyphens,
the ones rejected but respected
because they too would rather die
than not succeed
because they know the tears their parents wept in secret, 
and know what their teachers thought of all the darker skinned children, 
and know all too well, 
like the inner-city descendants of the ones who survived
the Atlantic, cotton gins, and segregation, 
that your youth and innocence
don't meet jack shit
to an American bullet and a prison cell
if white folk find a reason to
feel uncomfortable
with the freedom in your lungs
and the God in your image,

but where are my manners.

You were telling me about the Africans
like you know what that word means
so I'ma let you finish.

- Ignorant.

*at least they had boots.