IN THREE STANZAS
  
 I, too, am America, but…
  
 The exclusion
 From tomorrow,
 The dinner table
 Admits privileged company still,
 My colour continues 
 To be a strike against me,
 Despite the claims of equality,
 The back door
 Is still the only entry point
 And the dinner guests
 See me more
 As far less
 Than they—
  
 Today, Justice is…
  
 Holding an intense conversation with me
 At home about the crimes this country
 Committed in her midst. She ain’t blind.
 This Native American sister with braids
 Is going deep into the well of her people’s
 History, how they were suddenly made
 Prisoners and underdogs on their own
 Land, a large mass of dispossessed.
 Let me tell you, Justice wasn’t all about
 Sorrow. She laid some hope on me, for 
 Justice is proposing on how all the iniquities
 Of the past can be reversed. The best,
 Smartest ally this darker brother can have—
  
 I will write the power by…
  
 Becoming the hero
 I need to be
 For myself 
 And my long
 Suffering race.
 Speak out
 When the blustery
 Voice of hate
 Tries to assert itself 
 Over mine.
 To silence
 This verbal drama
 That divides us,
 Creates the wrong
 Social distancing.
 That’s what
 The powers that be
 Count on—
 They shall have
 No excuse from my end—
   
 W: 9.8.2020
 [ For Andrea Blackman and Rashad Rayford. ] 

Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early 1990s. Author of 5 books [ Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater and Skeletal Black, all from POOR Press, and his newest from Conviction 2 Change Publishing, Elohi Unitsi ] and 28 anthology appearances [ including Your Golden Sun Still Shines, Rise, Extreme, The Land Lives Forever, Civil Liberties United, Trees In A Garden Of Ashes and the newest, Colossus: Home ] under his figurative belt so far. Allen is in the process of working on two poetry book manuscripts and seeking a publisher for each.

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