Them And You

He lives four doors down
from you.

She rides the elevator daily
with you.

They went to high school
with you.

On her wall in the FaceTime background,
a suspect flag designed to scare you. 

On his truck, a bumper sticker
for someone who hates you.

In the conversation you left, stifled laughter
about some joke aimed at those like you.

But they’re so damned nice
to you.

She now and then has lunch
with you.

He had pizza one day and held a slice out
to you.

You know why they role play cordiality
to you.

You don’t like to think about how it plays

You try not to think about how they’re shrinking

They prefer that smaller, quieter, less present

It makes it easier to demand more and expect less
of you.

One day they’re going to look at 

and see 

and scratch their heads and reimagine

Beware that day when they finally see 

because on that day — yes — what could happen to

you being you at full height and strength; could be curtains
for you

or them, or they’ll change and see you
for you;

not an excuse not
to be you —

if anything, it’s a bell ringing
for you,

an alarm 
for you:

they are who they are no matter how nice and you
are you.

Learn them for who they are
and then do you,

do you, do

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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