Keep It To Yourself

An embodiment of
white-faced pain 
is raging in 
our neighborhood bar:

unfashionably bearded,
crude, loud, a stranger to the regulars,
and big enough to ensure 
no one will confront him.

That Word No Polite White Person Will Utter Anymore
is being uttered,
uttered a lot,
uttered loudly;

most of the patrons seem to be correctly 
uncomfortable with the sound,
if not the word. That shouldn’t
be said.  Keep it to yourself.

It was a cold night but
although it’s January
it’s warming weirdly, heading
toward way above normal;

in here this guy’s street face
is tearing open, his cave bones
are showing, and maybe it’s the heat,
maybe the humidity (they say

it’s going to rain buckets 
starting tomorrow), but it feels like
the seasons are moving too fast.
Ugly is sprouting in places

we thought were long ago 
made presentable or at least
safe for our idea of ourselves.
All we wanted was our drink

in our quiet bar, and here’s everything
we’re here to forget about enabled — unkempt
and raw, brimful of embarrassing life —
That shouldn’t be said. Keep it to yourself.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “Keep It To Yourself

  • Eileen

    My beautiful granddaughters who see diversity as wonderful had me deluded that people have really changed. Donald Trump has opened Pandora’s box and shown us otherwise. Perhaps it’s best to know the enemy is still within and not pretend.

%d bloggers like this: