Driving Black, by Ann Fox Chandonnet

Ann Fox Chandonnet
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
–Anne Frank

Use a light foot.
Keep your eyes open.
Mind the signs.
Don’t drive a white pickup.
Shun the shades.
You’ll be stopped anyway.

When stopped:
No smirks.
No one-liners.
Hustle uppity words underground.

Conceal that muscular butt in ruffles.
Tame the curls.
Leave gaudy jewelry on the dresser.
Ditch the do-rag.
Shave the soul patch.
You’ll be stopped anyway.

Heard a rumor it’s the 21st century,
that you have rights?
You’ll be pulled over anyway.

When stopped:
Hide your education.
Mute gestures
as well as tone.
Meat steams on the table,
but no place is set for you.
Never an open door, never a glass of wine.
Take it for granted:
Quicker than boiled asparagus,
you’ll be stopped.

Fling the bling.
Bag the rag.
Scratch the patch.
Shed the dreads.
Pass on sass.
Odds are, you’ll be pulled over,
and over.

(Previously appeared in Whispered Secrets)


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