Trapped in a Reflection (The Color of Sky)
By Brandon Moore
What color do you see;
when you look at me?
Do you see BLACK
Instead of my brown skin
The color of wickedness?
The color of sin?
Am I the color of menace;
A shadow in death’s valley?
The color of stalking you
down a long dark alley?
Or maybe you see the color of EBT
The color of single mothers
And missing baby daddies
Am I the color of handouts?
The color of housing vouchers?
The color of neighborhoods filled with
bulletproof checkout counters?
Or am I the color of gangbanging?
Of drive-bys and drug runs?
But NOT the color of
limited economic options
Or the color of social isolation
the product of you never passing
the Navy Yard Train Station
“It’s too dangerous!”
You exclaim as you try to explain
Why it’s okay to color an entire community
With casual disdain
It’s a damn shame…
That you see me
as the color of “Stop and Frisk”
But not the color of the 4th amendment
Or Gadsden Flags warning “Don’t Tread on Me”
And definitely not the color of a right to open carry
Oh no, not those colors…
those colors aren’t for me.
‘Cause see, you think I’m color of
“you just lucky to be free”
The color of “lock ’em up and throw away the key”
But not a victim of tough on crime policies
No, not the color of redlining,
But yet you color me “ghetto”
When my people migrated North
In your communities we couldn’t settle
But now you peddle the politics of personal responsibility
Without acknowledging your role in our historic inequality
You tell me you can’t help but see color
I say “true” but if you must,
in the corporate board room.
Color me Neil Armstrong
Highsteppin’ on the moon
When you see my color
You need to see…
Me standing tall
in the face of adversity
Bloody but not broken
by 300 years of racist policy
Color me a mother
raising her kids the best way she can
Color me a father
teaching his son how to be a man
Color me solving differential equations
And particle acceleration
Color me writing poetry
in the Caribbean on vacation
You can Color me crushing the Bar
You can Color me in brain surgery
You can Color me
driving the cross town bus
And getting off at 3 in the morning
Whatever you color
Color me individually
Because we’re NOT a monolith
And whatever you color
Color it carefully
Because ALL lives are