Awkward Space (Poem for APIC)

Phil_fall_2004_230

I can pass for white, if I choose
Press the flesh as a black haired, dark skinned European
Swarthy they used to call it

But that was a long time ago
Playing in rural fields of Oregon
Where there were no Asians

The layers of my rebellion are thick
I have claimed and reclaimed, identified and grounded myself
Rejected societies desires to define me, segregate me, assimilate me

I enter space with whites and it is always awkward
I cannot go back, to denying, defying, demeaning my heritage
With pride I use my voice to tell the history, resistance, call for justice

Awkward space is all around me
It is rich with crisis: danger and opportunity
All attention is on being in authentic relationship

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One response to “Awkward Space (Poem for APIC)

  1. Haiku: A Step Backward

    Raised in our world white
    Not knowing the loss of roots
    Understand the pain

    Love Dad

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