sitting in a home, full of white privilege
i try to comprehend what it means
to be “of color,” never feeling much
like a “person” in the first place

i have my own marginalized class
to live within, lgbtqia—
sadly, i hardly know
what it means to be i or a

and when i recall my even more
underserved, neglected, abused,
my “they” & “them,” my “brethren”
& “sistren” & “othren”

i wonder who’s supposed to come first…

poor me, right?

in the middle of covid-isolation, i feel
something familiar welling,
i read long diatribes begging me
to understand what my privilege is
that if only i own it, not that i need
to cultivate guilt, but if i truly own it

i’ll understand what needs

to come to bear

but as pale as my skin may be
i have no power
or none i know how to wield,
i settle into my whiteness

checking my judgment as best i can
watching bits of my own city burn
wanting to wrap my arms around
the people crying out in pain

yet i fear i feel the knees
of trusted ones
pressing down on my own neck
as others stand by

looking away,
i find it so hard to see the hope
in a world where cooler minds fail
and the biggest white dicks prevail

Rob Breeding

Rob lives in the rural crossroads of Orchid, Virginia.  He is an environmental planner who loves birding and spends too much time typing into his phone.