The rest of the story

The rest of the story

-for Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue

This Yom Kippur
what am I repenting for?

For failing to be counted one among the degenerates

Whose indictment of the privilege
of becoming just another
not chalked body
with a pension and a Maserati
and a place at the table
with the Great White Father

Whose eagle-eyed apprehension
of the declension of the merely making sure
that a child and a mother don’t lose the father
3/5 of a provider, he
in homes that surely would be prosperous
and market ready
with more personal responsibility
no time wasted on grievance and history

(where I live now -Canada- just sub in the nouns ‘Reserves’ and ‘Aboriginals’)

That not so silent song of all the scorned sheaves
Fanon and Baldwin, James and King
a melodious murmur of the don’t belongs
whose genuflections on the fields of sporting battle
(as my conscious Catholic friend noted)
is some abomination before God and Reagan
and the Constitution
never to be afforded absolution.

But I’m reminded of another coloured man
Esther’s father, Mordecai
a penitent who said, no,
I won’t take a knee before a false idol
this king believing himself to be a deity

So Mordecai nearly died
but then again he didn’t because
his daughter was
royalty

And isn’t that the rest of the story?

Jeremy Nathan Marks

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