Friday, September 22, 2017

How to be small

When I was growing up
I received a BIG education
that began when I was very little
on how to be small
Its an education  
that I am grateful for
about morals and ethics and war
I saw conferedate flag bandanas wrapped around heads
not knowing that they were helmets
I heard kkk propaganda before I even knew 
what those words meant
I learned who we called faggots and who we called niggers
"because that’s who they are", they said
with angry, outstretched, index fingers
No wonder I didn’t tell them
that is who I am
No need to GIVE someone an excuse
to beat the gay away
especially when
some people arent even afforded that LUXURY
I saw the big picture of bigotry
The complex quilting of blame
through piece after piece of incidents and accidents
I watched the spreading of blankets of hate and shame
over patriarchal beds full of self righteousness
and indignation
and incest
Beds slept in safely, snuggly, smugly, every night
Shotguns loaded under the frame
Just in case
and out of sight
It is true what they say
those crazy phychologists
those brainwashing scientists
Prejudice is not innate
It is learned
I learned at that early age
to be disgusted
and irate
which amazingly I maintained
but not exactly in the way they had trained
I listened year after year
to joke after joke
watched time after time
as the masoginistic poked
and the generations of rage 
prodded and choked
the love
right OUT the room
So I followed those instructions
and I left
I pay my own bills
Rent my own room
So no I DON'T have to tolerate this anymore
You cant make me go to Christmas
Even Jesus wouldn’t put up with this SHIT

As I watched my grandparents die
I hoped that this ideology
This pathology
This heart dis-ease
This live-or can't-sir
This brain tomb-er
would go with them
but I am getting an education yet again
that I am not happy about
but privileged to receive
and still grateful for
When my girlfriend stood at the door
asked me to show her a neighborhood
that was safe to walk her dogs in
She smiled at my uneducated answer and said
Sweetheart, I don’t think you understand
I stand OUT on an affluent street
My skin is too brown
The cops will follow me around
I will feel safer in a different part of town
She loses sleep at night
when her sons are out
Reciting instructions given from day one
about how to survive being pulled over by the cops
knowing not IF it will happen, but WHEN
One week she sends her boy
off to college to become a man
and the next watches hatred fill a campus
not surprised to watch history repeat itself yet AGAIN

I see these supremacy demonstrations
that are filled with men
who all but look like my next of kin
Brandishing sticks and stones
and they think they know me
with their accusations of sin
and I smile a little
because maybe they do
but the joke isn’t over
because I also know them
I know their shouting and gun loading
comes from fear and self loathing
I know that their atrocious, unforgiveable abuse of power
cums from the fact that they have not yet found their own
Using a FIST to make ones way in the world
is just evidence that one is still trapped underneath
someone elses THUMB
and nurturing the family tree of passed down oppression
will only make someone feel
old
tired
and KNUMB
I know their heads full of secrets and games
I know their pants full of inadequacies and shame
I know their hearts full of bruises
I know their histories full of excuses
Just like mine
And I know that
that is not really
who they are
but it is still who they are CHOOSING to be
I hope that someday
very, very, very soon
they will choose to see
that it is MERELY
an education
that they received when they were very little
on how to be small

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