October 5, 2009
Four corners of the block condemned
living in the middle, caught up in
my grandmother’s version of sin—
she told me I was going to hell when I was three.
You look at me and all you see is white skin;
begging me not to assume, my friend,
you think you already know every place I’ve been—
let me tell you; you don’t know me.
Let’s sit down and try to understand,
we’ve been oppressed by the same strong hands,
they hold us down, trying to mark us with their brand—
but we know better than to believe we’re their victim.
The world wants us to listen to commands,
people in power expect us to answer their demands,
all this time we’re thinking where’s the freedom that we planned—
it’s been too long now; it’s sink or swim.
They want to drown us, they want to watch us gasp for air,
they want to see us break, just look at their stare,
letting us go would require they care—
but oppression doesn’t give a damn.
Fight for the surface, you know it’s unfair
to sink to the bottom like a worn out spare,
maybe they think they don’t need you, but you’re the heir
to the world they can’t even imagine.
Take others up with you, just grab and pull,
don’t rise to the top without your hands and arms full,
otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself too unstable—
we do need each other to survive.
Leave behind all the lies and the fables,
let go of all the assumptions and labels,
arrive and bring your whole self to the table—
in that moment you will find yourself so alive.
We’ve heard the choruses, weary and tired,
we’ve heard all the lost dreams they once desired,
but when someone else’s truth transpired,
they believed it and the let those dreams go.
Only you know the truth you’ve acquired,
the one you live, breathe, think, and require
from those who want to know you; you ensure they’ve admired
the person only you are, only you know.
Don’t tell me who I am,
don’t tell me who I’m not,
don’t tell me where I’ve been,
don’t read this story like you already know the plot,
don’t look at me and decide what I know,
talk with me, ask how, together, we can grow.
When we’ve talked and argued
and listened and learned,
when we’ve played with that fire
and gotten our fingers burned,
when we’ve raised our varied thoughts and concerns,
it will be time to tell others to take their turn.
We’ll be the change, we’ll be the alarm
that will not shut off ‘til we are all free from harm,
we will not back down ‘til this system is disarmed
and we are safe within our own skin.
Just remember, before I go,
that no one can look at anyone and know
their version of heaven, their version of hell,
and when it all comes to an end, it’s just as well;
when someone has anything at all to say,
listen, because you may never have heard it that way;
we can all learn from each other,
no matter who we are,
we all must learn from one another
if we care to not waste all we’ve done thus far—
you don’t know me, I don’t know you,
but we’re here together,
that we both know is true.
United we’re louder,
united we’re stronger,
united we’re prouder,
united lasts longer than one tired soldier
against a whole war,
united we’ve a chance to settle the score;
it’s not about winning,
and we’ve already lost,
this is about equality,
day by day we pay the cost.
Don’t leave me behind,
I will not leave you—
unity will carry us through,
unity carries me and you,
unity carries everyone we never knew,
unity is what we must pursue,
and unity, my friend, is long overdue.
This entry was posted in Activism, Gender, LGBTQQAI, Race & Ethnicity, Women. Bookmark the permalink.

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