The Debt I Owe (…)
.Please enlighten me.
Share with me, your thoughts.
Why, oh why,
do you have power over me?
I am taller and stronger, you may say,
older and wiser,
but to that I do contest.
It's easy to do well in school,
just follow the rules
But the wisest people,
a group you are unfortunately not in, sir,
learn from living.
I can't tell time,
from that analog clock on the wall,
but I certainly can tell you,
that each second makes a difference.
Every single second,
I grow closer and closer to freedom.
Well, I have a job, you declare,
and people respect me,
but sir, again you fail to see,
the community of my people,
is one large, extended family.
We don't respect each other
because we work for one another.
In my community, everyone is our brother,
and I used to think that was a universal truth.
I wait for a sufficient reason,
standing staunch and strong before you.
You clench your fist and raise it to my face,
glaring past it into my eyes.
But you do not say it aloud,
I read your lips as they mouth a color.
You are white, sir, that is true,
but hear what I say to you:
White is a color, not a leadership role,
not a reason to beat, or slander, or own.
It is not an excuse to enslave my family
or an advantage over us.
Black is a color, too, and nothing more.
We sat in our homeland, utterly unaware,
of this perplexed place across the sea.
We did you no harm, yet you burnt our land,
you killed the women and the children,
leaving many a man, alone.
You killed my family, sir,
but I never complain,
I only pray your ignorance will fade.
After all, when was the last time,
you laid your eyes upon a box of crayons?
I saw one yesterday,
when your daughter drew me a picture.
And sir, let me tell you,
the crayon of black and the crayon of white,
matching in height, stood side by side,
and it was a mighty right sight.
As you turn your back and walk away,
I hold the picture in the sunlight.
A picture of you and I holding hands.
But you will never see,
that what I said to you,
is what your daughter said to me.