|The Sentry by Carel Fabritius, 1654|
Unbridled whiteness fires me up to share
my privilege: Please pull up a pillow,
rest a while, let me protest all despair.
White cops’ mis-justice hurts me, too, I fear.
I’m not safe if you can be held so low.
I can't feel happiness when your life’s austere.
Let me walk with you and grow seeds of care
to wake in your footsteps, to learn to know
unrest for real, how to always beware.
Unrestrained wickedness jerks me alert—
Your fragile bones are exposed to real blows.
I thought to forget, but you lived to hurt.
Whiteness supreme is mine to dismantle,
powers to share, achievements to channel.
What cannot be shared, might just be annulled.
I'll stop my walking, will myself awake—
I want the diverse life your presence makes.
If you have no freedom, mine’s a mistake.
Written at the end of a weekend workshop on Whites Addressing Racism. Rough draft Poem #25, April 2015. I'm a weekend behind.
Copyright © 2015 S.L.Chast