Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sabbatical poetry: on perceptions

Others have named you -
some hope-filled, some presumptuous.
But what do you call yourself?

From the corner of Malcomb
we've watched you live on for almost
4 years - from too far away,
from up here.

Has it taken too long for me
to open eyes, admit the not-knowing,
emerge from myself?
Admit I don't know you,
and I never will this way.

Others have named you -
hopeful future, yet a desert.
But what do you call yourself?

Is there any future besides statistics,
any hope beyond the corner store?
Will the gunshots ring out

Will the color of skin determine
our words, your ability
to ignore me completely?
Will the pattern of history
dictate your tomorrow?
Will you name yourself before others can?

Others have named you -
and I am the other.
Can I let you name yourself?

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