Racism Is Dead

Day 5 of the 2012 April PAD Challenge on WritersDigest.com.

“Racism is dead,” Stern said.
His African American
DJ mutters a yeah
as Stern connects with her people
like only a wealthy, white man can.

The problem today is now class–
never mind the trough is black.
If anything, whites suffer more
these days. They can’t say nigger,
they can’t make racist jokes
(but comics diss whites all the time!)
and a white friend of a friend
lost his job to a black
under-qualified, lazy bum.

I’d call to correct his claim
but my urban accent reeks
of ignorance no Master can dispel.
Doesn’t help I dress like a thug
in loose-fit jeans and Giants jersey.
Am I justified to complain
when white women cross the street
to avoid crossing me
or protest arrest for breaking in
to my own home when I sound
and look so suspicious?

My Son’s Cat

Day 26 of the 2012 April PAD Challenge on WritersDigest.com.

In silent crouch behind the couch,
the cat hides from my boy.
His toddler hands know only gropes
and karate chops–a caress
dealt playfully but still stings all day.
Her scratch won’t temper infant love–
his heart eclipses memory.
Her salvation comes only with age
when his attention strays to video games
and she becomes a memory.