A Poem That Means Nothing To You

by Stephen Earley Jordan, II

This poem is For Us By Us
and I'm not gonna get richer from this
so you might as well pay attention:

If you're black-jump back and you better
stay back, black and blue
as you keep your cool
'cause it's gonna get hot up in here before I get through!
You see, it's not always, as Brother Malcolm claimed;
the Blue-Eyed Devil trying to keep the Black man down.
Often, it's the black man himself
causin' such deterioration,
causin' such race discrimination,
causin' such pain and frustration,
causin' church women to have trials and tribulations,
while wanting a single race in our melting pot nation.

You see, with the Black Man-
My hair is too nigga-nappy and you be sayin'
"You sure are Dark, but definitely not Lovely" with your
thick shaka-zulu nose,
skin is too black like an ace of spades,
pants are baggy swinging like a hula skirt,
words are too slurred or
You're either too black or too white to be seen in the hood.
You don't want to accept the true blackness of a Black man.
So recognize me
not as an invisible man,
for I tend to be seen (and always heard)
on the rolling green golf courses
with Carlton Banks posing as a broke Tiger Woods
or I'm standing on Martin Luther King Boulevard
 where cockroaches drink black babies' tears as a delicacy.

Whatever the case may be,
I know my heritage,
I know where I come from,
I know I am a black opal within a lily.
I know how my father's mother's mother
worked for the same White man who raped her.

"Whose child is that?" the white man's wife asked.
Great- Grandma X lowered her head, sucked them lips, closed them eyes.
"You people are all alike"
When she had her child
Great-Grandmother  X bore her scarlet letter;
the Whites laughed;
Blacks kept everything "hush-hush" sending her away.
People don't like to talk about their business unless it's your business
I'm not here to talk about anyone or exploit anyone
In any way-except for myself.
It's time that my thoughts come together
and make some sense.
So what I'm sayin' is
I have so much hatred for you;
for you the conquerer, for you the oppressor, I have hatred.
How could you have turned your back?
How could you have raped my ancestors, White man?
How could you have shut the doors on our ancestors, Black man?
My anger is so irreversible, so irreplaceable,
and irreconcilable that someday
I'll get enough nerve to
write a poem that no one will forget!
You see it's not like I chose my life,
chose for my parents to have a little money,
chose to have good jobs,
chose for my parents to have a 25-year stable relationship,
invite Black and White folks over for cards on weekends,
dinner during the weekdays.
This happened because they are good people, my parents.
My parents and my ancestors.
My parents and their actions are reflected unto me;
unto me this is what you will not see:
I've never experienced prejudice like
I have from a black man or woman.
Neither have I loved anyone like I have loved my
brothers and sisters.

I've been waiting for the right time to ask you something.
I've been waiting all too long to ask you if
it makes me any LESS Black
for you to know that I date White women?
Does it make me any MORE of a man
for loving my Black woman?
Does it make me any LESS of a man
for admitting I love the sensualness,
 the closeness, the softness of a warm woman,
no matter what her color may be?
A woman of all colors, is beauty in all colors.

So, I wanted to write a poem for you,
about you,  that described how I feel about you.
But the feelings are so overwhelming that when a pen
was placed between my black fingers
the words were misplaced and replaced with white words.
Somehow the anger still existed.
I felt the feelings as I started writing this,
but they're indescribable
like the sight of an animal giving birth,
watching its nose peak through a peanut hole,
breathing for the first time.
My poem is still in my head
and I'm afraid to let it go,  let it breath,
let it live and leave my mind.
Leave my mind!

A Poem That Means Nothing To You by Stephen Earley Jordan II

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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