there are things we don’t talk about around the dinner table
but it’s there, there’s no mistaking it festering like a hot boil
it can’t be hidden behind smiles anymore because we know what you are
even if you hold titles like dad or mom or baby brother
we see your hypocrisy, your racism and deep-seated hatred
as you pass the potatoes with a smile, your bigotry translated
behind carefully crafted words of inclusion and tolerance
words you know nothing about so it’s best if you remain silent
for there’s no more hiding no matter how hard you try to convince us
actions speak louder than words. what else is there to discuss?
I remember the days
when I jokingly wrote about
the things I feared the most,
I think it was zombies
Until the day came
when simply the act
of walking out my door
pretty much does it
because I’m not white,
and I’m an immigrant.
And somewhere out there,
someone is angrily
and righteously thinking,
that I don’t belong.
And in their hateful eyes,
they’re convinced they’re not wrong.
When my 7-year-old son asked his father today
what the Museum of Tolerance was,
“It’s a scary place, son. And creepy, too,”
he replied with barely a second’s pause.
“You’ve never even been there,” I told him,
“You have no idea what you’re saying.
For even though history may at times be scary and creepy,
there are events in the world we can’t bear repeating.”
“He needs to know what happened,
we can’t allow the guilty wipe the slate clean.
He needs to know everything he can about tolerance,
its meaning, its virtues, and the world that could have been
if only people stopped being hateful,
ignorant, and full of prejudice,
for our son needs to know that now,
before someone else tells him for us.
For history is now being rewritten,
and we cannot let them wipe the bloodied slate clean
We need to remember and never forget
all the things that happened, every ounce of hatred felt and seen.
It’s difficult to breathe some days
when all you see are walls going up
isolating you from everything you hold dear –
freedom, the truth…
there’s nothing left to hold the lies back
but the will to keep on fighting
even as the walls start closing in
till you’re left with nothing but flimsy hope
just before your world grows dim
what’s the world coming to?
what’s happening to everything we worked for?
every freedom we thought we had, eroded
right after precious right,
can we truly take any more?
when the few are blinded by greed
and power and scorn
the walls are rising, closing in…
and, in fear, the world is reborn