White Men Keep Telling Me What To Do

“I do not like that man.  I must get to know him better.”~Abraham Lincoln
I
Their brand burns deep into my brain,
a forced filter to inform my knowing.

My life inscribed by words to the wise,
imbibing heady spirits they’ve poured

bypassing my heart. Seeing through glass
darkly with these prescripted eyes.

The lakeshore is vivid today only.
Golden-yellow gleams sun’s tribute.
Scarlet-orange carpets green.
Purple-mahogany deep drama.
Every tree a poem
deserving 1,000 new words.

No need to crowd
the lines of gawkers missing

by an hour because some bone-
head saving daylight sends

them into cubicle-cages
through the darkness

wealth-seekers know. Sliding
over my rough spots like butter

while I’m too tender to resist.
I absorb it, changed, make lists

of ways I can succeed. Until a friend
requests, tune in,

and suddenly I’m walking the devil’s
backbone and this is no place

for sleep. Every word I know a white
man’s barb into my flesh,

it only hurts when I begin
to pull away

and then, oh damn,
there is no easy way out.

II

Tree praise blazing
in the center of my
cultural lament.
It doesn’t fit.
Just like me
so glorious we stay.

Inspired by: List, Heady, Glass and Butter. and the Devil’s Backbone in Pine Hills Nature Preserve, a 100-foot-high stone ridge barely wide enough for the trail to cross.  (Photo courtesy of https://visitindiana.com/blog/index.php/2019/07/10/pine-hills-nature-preserve/)

 

Published by

Victoria Stuart

I'm a poet, philosopher and inner seeker. A giver, lover and a healer who studies the heart.

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