Poster Child

By Robert Gould

(Inspired by Claudette Colvin, whose refusal to give up a bus seat to a white man predates Rosa Parks’ protest by nine months.)

And through the pipes of industry
we crawl towards equality!

I played the game
(an ancient sport),

from my remains
they made a fort.

I made a life,
a pretty thing,
with skin too white for some.
The sport I played has disappeared
from his curriculum.

They had a right to vanity,
to draw their curtains in,
lest I live up to each every thought
the whites had of my kin.

Like every game worth playing,
there was a business to uphold.
Society is now a spectrum,
mine a story left untold.


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