A Little Boy

by | Feb 4, 2021 | Poetry

The easiest thing to do is to strike back when attacked. Although only a young undergraduate, I had been bequeathed with much wisdom from my mother. She used to say just because someone calls you a dog doesn’t mean that you have to bark. One day, I was walking down the street when a young boy called me “Nigger.” How would I respond?

A Little Boy
called out “Nigger”
as I walked by.
I did not know him
or he, me.
Something, he presumed,
I know not why.

Something inside
of him
needed to tame me.
As if he could,
As if I would,
let the pain subside
let his anger hide

His fear, so near,
I could taste it
as I crossed the road.
It was as a fire lit
and with care,
I removed his load.

“Little boy,
who taught you
to hate?”
He slightly

Looking up,
he announces,
“My parents serve
it to me on every plate.”

I nod.
He adds,
“They teach me
well how not to trust.”

I respond,
“Yes, distrust is a must.”

“I know well how to blame.
My parents tell me taking
Responsibility only brings shame.”

“The brown and the black
Make our cities crime-ridden.
The poor and the feeble are
All flea-bitten.”

“But looking at you now,
You don’t seem to fit the part.
Maybe, mommy and daddy
Aren’t so smart.”