Tribes

Smallpox.
A destroyer of nations,
Wielded as a weapon
Against those who are different,
The color of skin,
Shape of the eye,
Hair,
Clothes.

A notion of superiority,
That somehow blonde hair
Falling straight down the back like
Strands of gold glinting in the sun
Becomes better than  mouse brown and
The exotic carrot top becomes another
Proof of inferiority.

“If you were like me, we’d get along,”
Becomes a belief instilled deep in the psyche.
And so different is bad and
Everything works better if everyone
Has that same Barbie like straw blonde hair.

Except little things like reaching the upper shelf and
That whole big boned look make those other people stand out.
While those little differences are exotic,
We all know that exotic is dangerous.

You, I know are a member of my “Tribe” because you
Look like me and I can feel it in my gut
That those different looking people with their short legs
Cannot be trusted.
Does not our very survival rely on that feeling?

Here, I see you are cold.
Take these blankets.
I know they are a little dirty,
But aren’t they better than the
Nothing that I left you with,
Brother? 

-Kenneth Baker


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