While Wandering Many Years

I remember,

when as a child,

I noticed for the first time,

beauty,

the sort that remained with me,

for the rest of my life.

 

Oh it came in a smile,

a long and enduring hug,

a remark

a passerby whom might notice,

or help or assist, or wonder,

rather than showing

some practiced

ignorance.

 

For many years,

I’ve wandered through doors,

often wide open, without a need,

for a knock, or a password, or a latch key,

all evidence of the freedoms

I did feel as a child,

a young teenager,

an aspiring and hopeful

adult.

 

Along the way, I discovered,

race.

 

I remember the first time, well perhaps

there were many before,

a friend of mine,

in a fit of laughter, his own,

helped to shield my embarrassment,

we were talking iconic,

a Hollywood star,

I named the wrong person,

and he chuckled and said with clarity,

‘no the other black guy.’

 

See, I’ve now wandered for years,

found many stories,

heard a lot of different controversy,

created

of course a few of my own,

and in all that time,

I look around the room tonight,

and that oyster,

that metaphor,

that penchant for society to suggest

we all own ourselves …

that responsibility,

does let me breathe I suppose.

 

Yet I want a little bit more,

so in the years ahead,

perhaps a vocal sojourn

is merited,

to show the beauty and grace,

inherent in a wonder,

in the human condition,

in the freedom,

in some spiritual reckoning,

suggests,

we do, forever,

wander together.

When will you … begin to teach

Recognize my value as I walk past you.
Each morning moving towards my class
We cross paths like a silent movie venue.
Me, eyes closed with smile like breaking glass.

Afraid to engage you for fear of ridicule,
Always watching over my lonely shoulder
Wishing people might see me less a fool
More genuine; realizing everyone there

Is deserving of your attention, your model
Of direction, of delight, of dignified character.
Some sort of guarantee that you’re, that, well
Person whom we can rely upon to be where

We need your support, not simply in a room
With desks and posters, and mantras that inspire
Us to learn and grasp the standard you groom.
But also to walk with us and know we will aspire

To greater dreams than the droll of fearful walkways,
To prove our lives are important too in so many ways.