Sunday, January 29, 2017

After a Meeting

White privilege
class privilege
put blinders on words
Assumptions happen, then
disconnects and outrages
We speak a different language,
our lexicons formed on separate
streets, mine in a city crowded
with buildings where the aroma
of my neighbor's corn beef hash
mixed with my grandmother's gefilte fish,
where people carried their garbage
to the incinerator, where the insurance
man came every week to collect money,
where when it was too hot to sit inside
people sat outside on folding chairs
or sat on the fire escape until they
caught an evening breeze,
where some people flew pigeons
from rooftops, where my mother
had a two dollar a week
Christmas Club Saving booklet,
where my father said you didn't buy
anything until you had the money,
where my grandmother believed
you always gave change to someone
who is standing on the street
holding a cup, a sign asking for help
It's a different language
than the words spoken by someone
cradled in white privilege or grown
accustomed to that place over time
My language is not your language


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