Something I had to get out
|A black boy will be born into the world like a cold war |
LIke the slow walk to the gallows
Born to a chorus of hushed whispers and shaking heads
Born with skin...
SKIN that shouts louder than the angel that declares its birth
He will be born with questions:
Whose son is this? And where is the father who planted the seed?
When will this boy's cry be heard without being sloppily translated into anger?
And will the Holy Ghost come and fill this body up before the bullets do?
A mother will sweep these questions under the rug before company comes over, and will teach her boy how to walk on them.
And on the first day of Kindergarten she'll kneel down before her son like an altar, cup his face in her hands, look in his eyes and pray:
"Son, you're about to enter the wilderness. I have taught you how to walk but they will try to teach you to crawl again. Don't let them. And if anyone ever looks at you with crosses in their eyes, I need you to remember that you are not a sacrifice for hatred. Your father has already provided that. I need you to look them in their eyes, and I need you to tell them that."
When she finishes, she'll notice that the school bus has pulled up and opened its doors, with the driver waiting impatiently at the wheel. She'll watch her son get on, look around nervously, and finally find a seat next to a white boy who hasn't yet been taught that he is superior, but will, right after the alphabet and addition. She'll watch the bus drive off and remember the day of his birth, how it felt like a cold war and a slow walk to the gallows. But this time she'll remember that the angel's cry was louder than her son's skin, and the voice was saying, "This boy will be a son to God and will know both His love and suffering, for he is chosen. He will be hated by the world because his skin is like the dust of the earth, from which Adam was made." She'll remember, with tears in her eyes, that the boy's Father was there, even all along. That he was next to her, in her, in him, and looked at them both with love in His eyes.
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