Nearly forty-nine and childless--
yet I see them,
I hear them
and my heart hangs heavy as if they were my own.
How have I failed these young men and women
that I would hold up to praise,
that I would hold close to protect
even as some of them would spit in my face
calling me white
and therefore ignorant of their plight?
They speak their truth
and I can say nothing in reply
that I believe they could hear
as anything more than hollow hyperbole.
The legacy of pain
turns on an angry wheel
crushing the seedlings of unity
under the shouts of righteous outrage.