Something akin to rhythmic poetry, aimed at those whom I truly do love — but wish were better about certain things. (Of course it’s post-Thanksgiving.)

I strive to be better
More open, more kind
And when I ask you not to say it
It shouldn’t be a surprise

But you stammer and stutter
And try to defend
And I HATE it
And I hate who I am

Because our blood is the same
And yet you don’t want to change
Nothing holds you back
Except the need not to stray

From the comfort of culture
You feel safe within
Just a joke or a stroke
Of bad humor, not sin

But racism
Sexism
Your words aren’t a game
You say the word faggot
And I feel ashamed

Because I am not white
I’m a woman, I’m gray
And yet none of that matters
At the end of the day

“Well I don’t mean your friends”
But your words are all them
They’re people I love and you know it

I know I can’t change you
All I want you to do
Is when I’m around
Please don’t show it

Don’t speak ill of immigrants when one of you is one
No matter how “different” it seems
Don’t leer at the those who end up less fortunate
When it could have been us easily

I know in my youth I held those same opinions
And again just the thought makes me sick
But I pushed your prejudice and all of your influence
Because I’ve seen what makes others tick

Everyone is a spectrum of gender and culture
This is America, a huge melting pot
And even if I don’t agree with others choices,
I won’t forget the lessons they’ve taught

We don’t have to be the same
Think the same
Love the same
To live and let live and be done

It’s a message I wish that
The world would adopt
Yeah, don’t worry
You’re not the only ones

But I love you
You’re family
And life’s not so easy
There’s plenty of things I’ve not said:

The racist and sexist bullshit I’ve faced
Not a lot, but enough to make impact
You remind me of Them when you make those dumb jokes
You don’t realize how putrid you act

I am embarrassed
I am upset
I am disgusted
And even then

I wish you would change for the better

But you won’t and that’s fine
I’ll still love you regardless
We just won’t spend much time together.

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