Lawrence S. Pertillar

(February/'47 / Connecticut, USA)

Extremely Comfortable Within My Skin


IF I was of another race,
And not considered out of place...
Of course I would not 'see' restrictions.
Of course limitations,
I would not perceive.
Nor would I feel embittered emotionally.
IF I was of another race.
Or 'if' I thought steps I took,
Were steps I should and should not take.

However...
If my sensibilities are constantly reminded,
Wherever I go with a look to get...
From others who freely believe they can give it,
To judge my appearance from head to toe...
That to me will be obvious.
That to 'me' clearly shows.
Regardless who 'perceives',
How I should feel about this.
Inbred is this racist divisiveness.
Perhaps unconscious for some...
But the fact of it exists.

IF I was of another race,
And not considered out of place...
Of course I would 'see' restrictions.
Of course limitations,
I would not perceive.

And 'if' I did not have parents,
To advise me early in life...
Where 'others' might feel I should be,
And 'this' may not be for them 'alright'...
Perhaps I would not embolden my identity,
With a dignity I pride.
As I take strides to show just how proud I am.

Perhaps...
Everywhere I go to let it known,
Would not be so noticeable...
That I am extremely comfortable within my skin.
With no one having to remind me of it.
And flaunting it to appear arrogant...
Would be accepted and not out of place.
IF others who were American blacks,
Also felt and acted like that with a presence.

Perception.
It's 'all' about perception!
Perception.
That's where 'all' conflicts begin.
Perception.
Once it's embedded it is hard to end.

Submitted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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