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By John I. Blair

By luck of genes
I’m one whose skin’s
Described as “white”

Though there’s scarce
A patch of white upon
Its freckled surface.

When I was young
Books overflowed
With folk like me,

Movies, TV shows,
Newspapers, cartoons,

Teachers all were white,
Preachers in most churches,
Clerks in stores, police.

But if no one had been black
Our whiteness would have had
No meaning and no purpose,

Just an inconvenience
In a land of too much sun,
Too much scorching weather.

So we were blessed
By having someone
We were different from,

Someone we could use,
Abuse, and even own –
And justify our crimes.

What a gift our God
Had given us in this;
What a curse to them.

And now,
Past four hundred years
Of legacy,

How we ache
To heal these wounds
That may never truly seal.

©2019 John I. Blair, 3/2/2019

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