Sunday, November 25, 2007


Ok, so this one is dated - but a lot of it still rings true. I feel some discomfort typing out one of the last words - it's a word I don't like to use - but I think it couldn't be replaced here.

So I'm Told

They tell me the wall is coming down.
But I know it must be happening far away
'cause those doors slamming in faces all over
this country must be attached to something.

They tell me about a new era.
But they must mean the new-improved kind
for washing diapers, 'cause when you spell it out,
too many people still run to hold it back.

They tell me Jim Crow died long ago.
But he must have been resurrected
'cause I've seen him staring at me
in bars and stores where the wasn't
another face like mine.

They tell me about how the flag's too sacred to burn.
But I know America isn't a religion
'cause I don't know many churches that
send bombs to other countries or let it's congregation starve.

They tell me Trump is a genius.
But I don't think he has a full deck
'cause he plays his games without hearts and spades.

I could tell them, "I'm Black and I'm proud," or
"I'm a woman, I am strong," but they don't
want to hear those slogans of the 60s and 70s.

'Cause Reagan promised them a return
to the good old days of the 40s and 50s
when the streets were safe and clean,
and the little woman stayed in the kitchen
and the niggers knew their place.


The Bear Maiden said...

Yeah, but in the context of the poem it belongs.

That one is good. Now, when will you start new ones???

Ros said...

I agree with Bear Maiden, the word belongs -- it punctuates the verse and slaps you across the face with just how racist those times were.

Fat Lady said...

Well, you know, with all the brouhaha about the word recently, I've been of the mind that it would be nice if it would just disappear.

And I'd honestly forgotten I'd used it in this poem, so when I read it, it hit me upside the head like a brick. It really struck and emotional chord to see it. And my first reaction was that I had to take it out of the poem.

There are 3 more old poems. I'm hoping that by the time I get through those, I will have at least started on a new one.

But then, as I thought about it, I remembered/realized that it was in the poem for exactly the reason I hated seeing it there. It's supposed to slap you in the face. Supposed to make you realize - not just that this is the way it was, but that this is how it still is for some (many?) people - or at least in their heads, even if they won't say it out loud.

Keith said...

It all still holds true, especially since the hope is that Rudy Guiliani will bring in the new Reagan era. That Trump line is great!