A Reflection on Juneteenth

Crimes unimaginable

Sins unfathomable

Wrongs not righted

With an apology,

A soft word,

Or the stroke of a pen.

Pain to the deepest parts

Of the heart and soul,

The very fiber of one’s being,

A wound that doesn’t heal,

But rather cuts deeper

With every smile,

Every handshake,

On every pay day,

Every trip to the grocery store,

Every night at mealtime,

When they look at their children,

When they look at ours.

Privilege continues

Despite the lip service,

Despite the promises,

Amidst the meager gifts,

The dregs of easy charity

From the tatters of a bursting purse,

The guilt trip laid on thick

To the middle class and even

The working poor.

Those that lack for food,

Clothing or shelter,

Living barely day to day,

Not knowing where one’s next

Meal will come from.

And at the church the preacher

Says try harder, pray more,

Save your dollars

So you can send your little ones

To a good college,

Make them study,

Keep them out of trouble,

Tell them you love them,

That you’re proud of them

For that report card.

What do you say

When the white kid

Calls them the n-word?

What do you say

When you don’t have a job

Because you refused

To kiss your supervisor’s butt

When he would talk to you

Like you were nothin’,

Just a cog in his machine,

A disposable, replaceable,

Optional, neglectable,

Insultable, disrespected,

Used, abused, tossed out

To the street

Like so much garbage,

Black man?

Who Is This?

What child is this

Who came to us

To bring something

For us to eat,

And Christmas gifts galore?

What man is this

Who runs around

In a red suit,

Giving candy canes

And chocolate?

Who is this

Who flies across the sky

With a shiny red nose

To light the way?

And whose heart

Will grow a bit

In this season of love,

This time of giving?

Ho ho ho.

Christ mass time is here oh ho ho ho!

Jingle bells are ringing in my ear.

Can you feel my enthusiasm?

Really, I’m happy about it, but

It is stressful with all the expectations

Of joy and merriment.

Carol all your bells and all that, but

Don’t expect me to join in.

Yeah, I know, it’s the season

Of peace and love, giving and getting,

Snow and fireplaces and hot chocolate.

I can’t wait to celebrate and I’m glad

My shopping is all done.

Now, bring on the cookies and candy!

Jingle Bells

Do you feel

The coming tide

Pulling us out

Away from shore?

Do you feel the raindrops

Pelting my head and shoulders?

The candy canes

Are hanging on the

Christmas tree.

The egg nog

Is in the fridge.

The presents are wrapped,

The house is decorated,

And I’m taking less Prozac

So I don’t get manic

Next week.

Soon to come,

Visits with friends

And family.

Parties and church,

Luncheons and dinners.

Cookies and milk,

Next to the fireplace.

I’m saving up

To buy gas.

Looking forward

To celebrating.

Jingle bells!