Condescending The Stairs

We’re descending the stairs
side by side and you are trying to comfort me
after another conversation gone bad — 

it doesn’t matter what you are, you say,
we’re all human.  Don’t let it
bother you so much. You say,

listen, I did one of those ancestry searches
and found out I wasn’t German like I thought,
I’m mostly Irish and Scottish, so I just trade

my lederhosen for a kilt and move on, learn 
the Highland Fling, I think I like plaid
better anyway. It also said

I was 2% Neanderthal, no worries, I feel like
that sometimes. It said I was 3.2% Native American,
which is great, I’ve always liked 

the feathers.  It said I was 5% African, but 
then again we all are and I’ve always been 
sympathetic to their plight, maybe 

that’s where I get it. I see all this in terms of
learning that a flavor, a taste you thought you acquired
you turned out to have been born with. Don’t let it

get to you. In the long run
there’s no such thing
as race.  It’s all a social construct anyway.

Condescending on the stairs.
You keep talking. Keep telling me
it doesn’t matter. Keep telling me

we’re the same. All exactly the same.
It’s as easy as putting on a kilt instead
of a headdress. As easy as putting on

a scar instead of a crown. As easy as
putting on a chokehold instead of a noose.
It’s all just a social construct like

empty promises, broken treaties,
unheated rooms; like an argument
among thieves over the division of spoils — 

to the victor go the spoils. Everyone
knows that. To casually cast the spoils aside
is also the victor’s choice —

everyone knows that; everyone,
it seems, everyone
except you.

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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

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