On The Language of Possession

I said to a white guy, a friend,

"How are you doing, my man?"

and he answered as courtesy required.

 

I said to a black guy, a friend,

"How's your day, my man?"

and I winced at my insensitivity,

my lack of discretion.

 

He, hardly noticing, answered

as courtesy required.

 

In the first a bond, of sorts,

In the second a reeking bondage

caught in the language of possession.

 

In the first a recognition,

In the second, a forgiveness

bestowed as one to another

we know, we are all just human.

◄ On A Freak Warm January Night

Some Thoughts Upon Mary ►

Comments

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 8th Jul 2019 22:52

Language can be hijacked in all sorts of ways, intentional and
unintentional. Two words come to mind: "black" and "gay". Modern
society has made a social minefield for us to negotiate, not always
successfully.

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LEON STOLGARD

Mon 8th Jul 2019 14:21

colour is colour, people are people. Nice to see you are still rocking on Brockster man.

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Sophie Morley

Mon 8th Jul 2019 13:28

It's the same kinda cringe as benevolent sexism (eg. automatically believing a woman to be a better parent than a man is a 'compliment' to the woman but actually still pre judges them based on their gender and promotes gender inequality). One of those things a good person who's been brought up through a lot of social changes has to muddle through, because the faux pas wouldn't ocurr to people post these changes so wouldn't cringe. Interesting x

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 8th Jul 2019 12:41

Absolutely arrow straight - to the self-imposed guilt in which we 'whites' can wrap ourselves. A very sensitive work. You saw your second friend as 'black'; but you yourself have the 'baggage'. 'Blackness' probably never occurred to him. Why would it?


Love the point about 'offence'.

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Jason Bayliss

Sun 7th Jul 2019 23:39

Not really sure. The first part about offence, I first heard from comedian Jimmy Carr, the second part just occurred to me but I'm sure somebody's said it before.

J. x

<Deleted User> (22247)

Sun 7th Jul 2019 23:00

Who said that, Jason, if you recall?

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Devon Brock

Sun 7th Jul 2019 22:54

Thanks Martin and Jason. When the "conversation" occurred, out by the smoker's shack behind work, the kind gentleman laughed at my faux pas when I called myself out on it.

D

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Jason Bayliss

Sun 7th Jul 2019 22:45

They say, "Offence is never given, it can only be taken," whereas forgiveness and understanding work the other way round.

Great poem with a keen insight.

J. x

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Martin Elder

Sun 7th Jul 2019 22:42

Very astutely observed and written Devon

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