To Stay Myself Blind

by Vanessa Raney


We begin
with the assumption
that what we have
is ours
grow up thinking
that in a country
like ours
we have the right
to say what
we want
(excluding things
like murder
and maiming)
ours for the taking
we don't think
about exclusion -
we assume
that things like
race don't matter
we don't remember
that for some of ours
there was/still is slavery
or like me
grew up thinking
it didn't matter
what was past
is past in this
time who cares
right? except
I'm kept
reminded bullied
into thinking
about the color line
it's why we're
stagnant thinking
in one place
a barrier unwilling
to move in
another eyes
that see people
for people
and so I try
to ignore
determined to
stay myself blind
that we're each
human beings;
and no, I won't let you
change me
and that is my end.

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Poetry on Swans


Vanessa Raney will be a graduate student in History at Claremont Graduate University this fall. Her poetry has recently appeared in American Western Magazine (online), Quirk, Asphyxia Digest, WireTap Magazine (online), The Bayou Review, and The Thing Itself.

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Published July 21, 2003
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