The Guilt is Ours
I’m sorry that I didn’t notice you were black when we were playing at the mall.
I was just happy to have someone my size to be with.
I didn’t know our lives were so different.
I’m sorry I didn’t notice you were treated differently in school.
We shared the same buses, free lunch program, and classes.
I thought we were the same.
I’m sorry I didn’t do more when I was threatened for dating you.
I was scared,
of your community and mine.
I am sorry I wasn’t more of an activist.
I looked to you for guidance and leadership,
still not recognizing limitations on your power.
To me, you have always been so strong and capable of anything.
I didn’t notice a lot,
and it’s no excuse,
that I let my abuse and rape take my focus off of you.
I put my energy into caring for my mom through her cancers,
and grieving the loss of all of my aunts and uncles,
plus a few cousins.
I was battling depression
and recovering from a suicide attempt.
I thought it was enough that I befriended you
and that I love you,
that I made a career out of the pursuit for unity.
I had no idea I needed to protect you,
and I’m afraid I couldn’t have,
even if I had tried.
Yet I am here now,
waking (although belated),
grieving with you,
reaching out to you,
and asking your forgiveness
for my blindness.
I want to understand.
I want to align,
and to deliver
on the promise
not originally meant for you
or for me.
that for all
there will be
Justice and Liberty. xo