Ron McKeithen

By: Ron McKeithen

“Black Me”

Black beautiful me,

uneducated to cultivate your very existence,

       strung up to test the strength

             of your tree limbs

mis-educated in the classroom

    and displayed as grime beneath

your feet,

       ignorant of your hunger for plunder,

your need to control

whomever you meet,

   a blackberry stain you can’t bleach out,

another ugly smudge in your history

that reveals your

backward Christian love for me…

black me

A silhouette of a man

jumping over hurdle after hurdle

for a seat on your lap

  only to snuggle within a mirage

of acceptance,

held down by economic chains and social shackles

to keep me on my knees

at your feet,

crippling my will to be,

indifferent to my self-destructive behavior

to create a pain to numb the pain

from being…

    black me

And when I scream “Fuck your hurdle”

you shoot me down

beat me down

lock me down

cage, gag and strip me

only to awaken in me rage that fuels

a resilience to do more

to be more

than what you’ve convinced the world

to expect of me …

black me.

Your hate will not become mine,

even as I fight for self-preservation

amidst the puddles of mud

 you place me,

scavenging through the slums

for the crumbs you scraped at me,

that I use to re-create

what you destroyed and hid

from me

that which was by me,

your perception and projections

of me are not me

but merely your terror-stricken

fear of me

for how you’ve done

for how you’re doing me

constantly doing me…

beautiful black me.

(11-12-18)

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