[lit-ideas] Friday's Poem

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 03:17:19 -0600

BORN AGAIN



If I could be born again according to choice
I'd come back black, in Memphis, poor as dust,
selling newspapers on corners that I'd stolen from news racks.
I'd come back black knowing that whites were -- well -- white
end of story.

The bravest words I've ever heard 
were spoken in 1961 by my high school chum Robert Agee,
on the 9 Normal bus
at the stop at the intersection of 
Southern Ave. and Pendleton St.
in the heart of Orange Mound,
better known to us as NiggerTown.
He was looking out the window at the people
standing on the corner, laughing and jiving and talking
suddenly he said, wistfully, without any preface or warning
he said:
"Sometimes I wish I was a nigger."

Holy Shit!  What blasphemy!  I wanted to kiss him on the mouth.
Yes!
So did I, so did I, so did I.
It was never mentioned again.

Mike Geary
Memphis

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