Sunday Sitdown #2: And So It Begins

Where does my racial story begin?

At my own birth?
At the first moments I can remember?
The very first time I noticed people were different?

Or with
Parents and
With the many ways they interacted with
Others who were different?
(All while they tried hard
So very hard
To become the not-different themselves)

How can I even
To explain my own upbringing without
A long
At how the people who shaped me
Were shaped?

They always had a “girl” –
I best remember Katie,
Grown woman in starched white
Always there to clean
To smile
To say “Yes, ma’am”
Even as she grumbled through the Friday evening dishes
Even though I wondered how someone that old
Could still be a girl

Or Johnny from Westwood,
Starched black and white suit,
Impeccably shined shoes,
Always there to bring
More bread to the table,
The day’s specials
A smile, a laugh, a joke –
I can’t remember, but only hope
He wasn’t called “boy”

This is where I started,
What I was born into
What I carry

I don’t want
To come from there,
Don’t want to own
That piece of me –
But where there is pain
There is love
Where there is honesty
There is vision
Where there is reckoning
There is growth

And I have oh, so far to grow.

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

3 thoughts on “Sunday Sitdown #2: And So It Begins

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