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POEM: two sons


two sons

the thing is I have two sons
to whom I’d like to leave
a better world than the one
I was born into but
it looks day by day like
that’s not going to happen

some white kids in my son’s
class called a 9-year-old
Pakistani boy
in a college town in
Pennsylvania in 2012

my sons are getting older
in a nation where
a young black child
carrying a bag of Skittles
is seen as the appropriate
target for the rage of
an angry armed man

they’re growing up in a country
where we don’t care about
women unless they’re on
a screen for our amusement
or breeding or making

where we take pride in being
monolingual as if a nation
of immigrants has ever been
a nation with one language
worse yet that language is

and sure their mother and I
try to tell them otherwise
try to show by our actions
and teach with our words
but it’s like holding them
in the rain and expecting
them to stay dry

because they’re surrounded
all day every day
by stories told by the victors
and sermons preached by
the intolerant
and I’m scared


the thing is I have two sons
and I’m not sure what to do
and neither, as far as I can see
is anyone else

14 July 2013
Auburn AL

Published in Auburn My poems Poem-A-Day 2013 Poetry Politics & Activism


  1. Beautiful. Moving. And Troubling. May your sons come to understand that being as thoughtful as their father will benefit them when making the important decisions of their lives.

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