Smile and the world frowns back

Elizabeth Thompson,
Gulf Breeze, FL.

I cannot claim to know how it feels to be black.
I cannot claim to know.
Unless you are black, neither can you claim to know.
Because we non-blacks do not know.
If you can imagine though, and wonder what it would be like,
to walk with the burden of all of the blind assumptions readily confessed here
on your shoulders every time you left your house.
How that must feel.
To be scrutinized when you wish to be left alone.
To be marginalized when you wish to be heard.
To have any measure of fear bubbling up to the surface of your heart
in situations where none should be warranted.
Where you should have nothing to fear.
Situations where there ought not be monsters out to get you.
Situations where you know you’ve done nothing wrong, so why?
I wonder if it’s a lot like being a woman, but that much worse.
I wonder if men have the capacity for wonder.

 

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