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  • Passing

    This is an old one but I never posted it before. I think it is very good. It tells an interesting story of a blue eyed mixed race boy who is 'passing for white' in a racist segregated society.


    PASSING

    My mother is Black
    but my father is White
    My brother is Dark
    but I was born Light

    Light enough
    to easily pass for White
    And go to a White school
    where I learned to read ---- and write

    My teacher says
    that I'm awfully bright
    And she has been
    my guiding light

    But I wonder what
    my nice teacher would say
    If she could follow me home
    and spend the rest of the day

    There she would meet
    my brown-skinned brother
    I wonder how she would greet
    my dark-skinned mother

    Perhaps ----- she would be angry
    and feel ------ like a fool
    if she knew ------- a Black person
    was enrolled ------ in her school

    Therefore ---- I see my mother and brother
    only at night
    when nosey white folks
    are nowhere in sight

    And if we should ever
    be seen together one day
    my mother has told me
    what I should say,

    I say my brother ----- is not my brother
    And my mother's the maid
    She works for my White parents
    as their personal aide

    I know ----- it's not the truth
    It's an awful lie
    But that's what I must do
    if I want to get by

    A white girl in my class
    thought I was trying to pass
    So, she walked up to my desk
    near the front of the class

    She said, "Why, you're the whitest nigger
    I've ever seen!
    And your momma keeps
    you nice and clean!
    Yes, you're the whitest nigger
    I've seen so far
    But you don't fool me
    I know what you are."

    I said ---- "If I'm a nigger
    then you're one too.
    I'm nearly blond ---- My eyes are blue.
    And if truth be told ----- I look whiter than you!"

    She frowned at me
    before she opened her mouth
    She said, "Me and my family
    come from the Deep South
    So, I know plenty of niggers
    that look like you
    I know Black folks
    whose eyes are blue!"

    I said, "Your hair is dark brown
    and your eyes are dark too!
    So, maybe you got
    some nigger in you!
    You said you come from a place
    where the niggers look white
    So, maybe you're a nigger
    who's awfully light!
    Now, that would explain
    why you're so good in sports
    and why you get F's
    on your book reports!"

    I could tell from her face
    that she didn't like that one bit
    and if she had a sharp knife
    I'm sure my throat ---- she would slit.

    Now, the truth is something
    that is often hard to discern
    but I could tell my harsh words
    gave her pause for concern

    So, she got out her mirror
    And she examined her face
    Searching for signs
    of the African Race

    But, while she was searching,
    I had a litttle fun
    And I said a few things
    to make her come undone

    I said, "Look at your eyes!
    And look at those lips!
    Look at your thighs!
    And the curve of your hips!
    And look at your butt!
    it sticks out in the back!
    Yes ---- one of your ancestors
    had to be Black!"

    Her eyes got so big
    I jus' wanted to laugh
    And I wish I could have taken
    a photograph!

    Now, who knows ---- what amount of 'Blackness'
    her mirror had found
    But during her search
    she did not make a sound

    Then she lowered her mirror
    And she started to frown
    She marched back to her seat
    And she sat her ass down

    My clever response
    put her suspicions at bay
    But I know she'll harass
    me again one day

    The girl had her suspicions
    but she never had proof
    And I'm afraid that one day
    she will find out the truth

    But that's what happens when a person
    looks White ---- but is Black
    And it seems ev'ry night
    I have a panic attack

    If they ever confront me
    I'll just have to lie
    My African Heritage
    I'll have to deny

    I get down ---- on my knees
    beside my bed each night
    And pray no one finds out
    that I'm Black ---- and not White



  • #2
    Felt this! When you used such language as in this I was like O-mouthed. Written well, I think this piece is a look at how people mix together -- well or not. Sad, very sad, the state of our world ruled in some ways by such low intelligence, and outdated patterns. Some day we will learn to be one, and then the poetry might be different, but the same?
    There were a few stanzas which I think got "smooshed" together and so if you wanted you could separate them, there's 2 blocks of 2 stanzas which could be separated. If you wanted to keep the pattern of four line, etc.
    This gets deep into the pathos of such a situation, and explains to us, shows us how it is.

    Thanks for sharing because I enjoy the journey!

    Comment


    • Rhymeboy
      Rhymeboy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you amenOra your commentary is always excellent and much appreciated. I intentionally kept those stanzas together because they were part of the same quote I felt if I separated them that would somehow get lost to the reader

  • #3
    I’ve seen this happen growing up. But we’re all from the same parents so we all have black, which is really brown and white which is really beige a shade of brown. God loves variety and we should also enjoy life’s variety. How boring it would be if we all looked alike. Truly enjoyed this. Thank you for the brutal honesty of this poem.

    Comment


    • Rhymeboy
      Rhymeboy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank You AlexandratheLate! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my poem! I'm actually surprised you read it! Lol! I know you generally don't like these ultra-long poems! And thanks for sharing your real-life experience with the subject ,matter as well!

  • #4
    Beautifully done Rhymeboy . And sad. And necessary. And sad that it's necessary.

    Comment


    • Rhymeboy
      Rhymeboy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you RhymeLovingWriter,your commentary is very much appreciated!

  • #5
    As usual, you hook the reader with your narrative gift, Rhymeboy. I've taken to imagining your poems recited aloud in front of an audience - performed. You balance the entertainment and the poignant message really well.

    Comment


    • Rhymeboy
      Rhymeboy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank You very much grant hayes. I did recite this one in front of an audience at an open mike a couple of times in Oakland CA. It was well received. Thank You very much for your kind words!
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