My Life, Race

In Dixie: A free verse poem

In Dixie
Trayvon (Look away)
Michael (Look away)
Tamir (Look away)

Sandra (#SayHerName)


I found my voice living halfway between the capitals of my oppression, with the land of the free and the land of cotton on either side

In Dixie Land I took my stand refusing to stay silent in the name of comfort, when, in truth, I was afraid of suffering more abuse at the hands of so-called sisters and brothers
How do I reach seventy times seven when the grievances multiply exponentially? I’m trying, but I can’t count that high. Does this mean I’m not sanctified?
Another day, another hashtag (#TakeDownTheFlag)
Another name (#CharlesKinsey)
Another place (#Charleston)
Another death (#PhilandoCastile)
And I’m supposed to look away, look away, look away, look away…
Respectability. I’m not allowed to point out issues lest anyone feels singled out, censured, or strained. I’m not allowed to invoke the words of Malcolm. I can’t make the suggestion that I’m experiencing oppression because I’m “too smart,” “too good,” and “a much better person,” than any of that.
Respectability. Act respectful. Step and fetch it. Don’t bite the hand that feeds me. I can’t step on anybody’s toes, but my back is bleeding.
I’m sorry.
Hole up. Why am I saying sorry? I’m not sorry. And I’m not sorry that I’m not sorry. Because silence gives consent and I refuse to play by those rules of order, newly revised.
I have a voice
I’ve found my voice
To live and die
In Dixie

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