Bruised innocence leaves soul
And conscience lacerated. My
Pale experience pales at first aid.
How do I explain to this sweet child,
Born where heart of darkness was,
Explain what darkness of heart is?
Do I merely say that some children
Are stupid and say stupid things
Because their parents are haters?
I answer his questions as best I can:
No, all Africans do not have fat lips;
You do not have fat lips, you do not.
No, you do not have gorilla skin;
Your skin is beautiful. Our skin
Is many shades, all beautiful.
Why did he call me the N word?
A hug and tear hardly seem enough,
Enough to salve his pain or mine.
Oh, that simple decency would be
Simply black and white, instead
Of a matter of black or white.