Thursday, October 30, 2014

White privilege

I walked the red dirt road alone guilt-free,
camouflaged by choice and chance.
My flashlight knew its place,
but dared to dance and jumped to late.

Startled black at new moon, intruded need interrupted.
Eyes and teeth justly shamed my light shaft down, 'til
self-incriminating shine of whiter skin had its way and
we together did as done must do.

I quickly mumbled my pardon monsieur,
but he parried with practiced humility,
His own right hand reached for mine, as custom did oblige,
but need as well for left hand he was aiming at the bush.

Machete laid on the ground,
he twice exposed himself to me, and I thus armed
in my white skin had twice the upper hand,
Noblesse oblige I crossed my light saber left to play my part right.

Feigning delight at the exchange,
though secretly mourning solitude now lost,
I repulsed unbidden urge to blame the man
for being too black to see in blackest night,

As he too surprised at night might blame in turn
a black Mamba snake for being underfoot.
Once out of sight I doused my light to recover my equality,
For white can pass for black with naught to see and nowhere to be.

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