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Poetry

Sharecropping

for Condoleezza

Venus Thrash

We yanked red ribbons
from your crooked
plaits in schoolyards.

We banned you
from hopscotch
& double dutch.

You refuged
in Chopin
& Tchaikovsky.

We named you
Black.  Ugly.
Nappy. Not Black.

Enough. White.
We are old salt
crusted in your

festering wounds.
Forgive us
our milky-eyed

view of beauty,
our deceptive
meanness,

our rousing fear
your just might
be better than us.

Forgive us
every stone,
every iota

of red dust
bricked inside
your heart.

You are beautiful
to us now.
Shirley Chisholm

never walked
the tightrope
of power

as well as you;
Unbought
and unbossed

while you plough
someone else's
fields. 

You are black
and beautiful
to us now.

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