A New Space by Jeremy Blackwater
‘Look at that poor derelict.’
My classmate smirks as he clutches his laptop.
The invisible man curls up in a heap,
A face peeks out of the gray blanket.
My gut begins to heave in distress.
I too get labeled
When I don’t live up to expectations
Even when I’ve paid my dues.
Sadness arches over me when I hear whispers.
Go back Prairie Chicken, dirty injun
It still bothers me.
Even though we’ve paid in blood.
I dress like them, talk like them
Raise my hand in class.
I know I can’t earn respect,
Yet I trap myself in the non-belonging box.
Then something changed.
I’m not sure how.
I stopped placating
Another world unfolded.
A no-label domain
A not-pay zone of acceptance
A space of inherent dignity
I grew up
In a plethora of grace.
Thank you all my relatives.