Where was I when the Night Caught Fire?

A response to https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/where-were-you/#respond

Where was I when the night caught fire?
Alone as always I am alone,
Waiting for a wave of compassion or science,
Of fiction or poetry, Of well baked pies,
Where was I when the night caught fire?
Trembling on the floor, angry and hurt,
Disbelieving that yet again you left me
Without looking back. So I stood on the porch,
Watching the blaze from dead stars as their
Ashes reigned down and buried those
Without umbrellas to protect them.
I waited that night for someone to notice,
For parent, child, friend, but the silence burned
Through any preconception I had of friendship.
Where was I when the night caught fire?
Writing oceans of water to extinguish the flames.

Caucasian? White? To Blame?

If you are Caucasian, they
don’t give you the right to color.
You are branded by incandescent
Light bulbs which bleach and leach the
Color out of your existence.
“Be remorseful, for this is your done deed.”
But I’m not remorseful, no, not me.
I’m not a defiler, derider, denier.
I am the daughter of the 60s, born in the 50s,
Sent into the future, now past, to be.
Yes, to be liberal, caring, sharing.
Don’t blame my color for the criminal’s
Crime. I fought for us, the social bottom.
Where my eyes have always been open,
My family fought to insure their message would survive.
I’m not to blame for other handheld knives
In throats blameless and innocent.
There is a knife in my throat, exposing me
As red blooded human in the act of surviving.

Skin Deep

Fuck pretty,
You smile in the morning
As coffee is shared and the daily news perused.
Fuck pretty,
As in the lab you find
A cure to heal a child, to stop a disease.
Fuck pretty,
When the mind you have sets
The stage for dancers who envy food or chocolate
Fuck pretty,
When you are on the front lines,
When you save the life of your comrades
Fuck pretty,
When you win a Nobel prize,
When your economic strategy saves a world.
Fuck pretty,
When you leave your lipstick undone,
As you fly out the door, a doctor to a crisis.
Fuck pretty,
You are not your face in clayed on makeup
You are your soul, your compassion toward others
Fuck pretty,
You’re smart as hell,
You’re strong, beautiful, compassionate
And the world should know the word pretty
Is just window dressing of hormonic lust.
You’re a woman,
Proud, intelligent, problem solving,
Mind expanding, story telling, life living,
Fuck pretty,
You’re a human being
Of exceptional worth who refuses the bonds
Of a society that tends toward inward silence
And outward violence.
Fuck pretty.
You’re so much more.

 

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