ABOUT THE POEM

This was disturbing for me to write. These are my thoughts on racism, and those things that dwell so deep within us, it seems as if they are part of our fabric. But they are not. I chose shadows to represent my own. They are what I cast in the world and they change with the light. They cast when I am not aware, yet they are not truly me at all. Recognizing them is the most difficult part. The photo of the dancer representing Shiva seemed appropriate.

I dream you like there is no format,
no eloquence or forgiving light.
You are what you are.

Brutal. Ugly. Endearing.

You are my child, my thought, my belief.
When you move, do I?
Or is it a shift in the day?

You are a pickaninny,

a small black child who exists
in an apartheid world.

Small. Silent.
Aren’t you tired of this? 

You were conjured and so you are.

Rise up.
And so you did.

Why doesn’t it matter?
Black lives matter as long as they are small.
And silent. 

You are none of these things.
You are that which must not be named.

Why are you special?

You are extraordinary to exist at all
yet here you are

for I am not lucid
undreaming.

Photo by Manyu Varma on Unsplash

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