by Chris Burton
Wanted to apologize for last night.
You came in to do your job
And my elder only saw your youth.
“You’re a doctor?!” she exclaimed,
“I thought you were a nurse!”
Subsequent conversation was unpleasant.
I was not offended but understood
Your grasps for authority.
My elder could not see
How her question accused you.
Fulfilling for a moment your fears
Of being an impostor.
And I’ve felt it.
Like no matter what I do,
Take me to Oslo,
And my aunt will always see me as six.
Take me to Richmond,
I’ll give you a speech
And they’ll still ask if I am from Africa.
The horror of being lowered.
You being a nurse is like me being a janitor or some thing.
But I’ve learned so much from custodians.
Lunch ladies and the least of these.
These people, my people
Respectable carrying receptacles.
Walked so we could run away.