Saturday, May 03, 2014

If You See Something

Say Something, says the sign.
If you see something suspicious
speak up, alert the proper authorities
if you see something.

Like what I see
every morning in my mirror?
A brown-skinned woman in a headscarf,
a woman of no easily identifiable race? Well, I see her.

And I must tell you that she is suspicious—
deeply suspicious.

You see she does not really believe you when you say that her life will be better if she buys your products,
your skin-care products that promise to lighten away the warm tones she inherits from her parents
or your hair-care products for the hair she keeps covered to show pride in her religion.
She doubts you when you say this is a land of equal opportunity
because she does not think you will say that when she interviews for your job.
She is not sure the proper authorities have her best interests at heart
and she does not trust you when you say the innocent have nothing to fear.

If she is afraid, does that make her guilty?
If she is suspicious, do you blame her?
If you see her, what will you say?


This poem combines elements of an earlier "If you See Something" and also "Nothing to Fear." I think it's matured nicely.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

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