Trading Races


“When you have only ever experienced privilege, equality feels like oppression.” ― Adam Rutherford

Here’s Karen, captured from a foreign realm,
stacked in a leaky vessel through a storm
where all the crew, from cargo hold to helm,
were black and bold, the undisputed norm.

She’s told to buckle down and never whine
about the weight of sorrow on her back
from stolen heritage. “What’s yours is mine,”
they say, “we’ve set you on an equal track.”

But drowning in an ocean fraught with tears
or stranded in a desert parched with thirst,
the vestige of oppression through the years
can never fade until the tide’s reversed.

Why should it threaten them if she demands
a sign that someone sees and understands?

2020 Mary Boren
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From Versailles to Valdosta


When potentates arrived at Louie’s gate
they frequently
were treated decently
from carriage to the crux of the estate
through spacious links to be
connected to the presence on the throne
that blanketed the monarchy alone.

But only those whose social pedigree
was highest shelf
according to their wealth
were met with individual esprit
and ushered by the king himself
through each palatial post from in to out
at every station on the winding route.

A remnant of the ritual remains,
a quiddity
that, like a whispered plea,
still echoes from the rural Georgia plains
with matchless hospitality
in gracious deference to who you are:
“Allow me to escort you to your car.”

2020 Mary Boren
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