Back Seat

June 30, 2011
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My name is Rosa,
Rosa Louise McCauley
I have a spirit,
A family,
A life,
Just like you.
You are white.
Called by Mr. and Mrs.
You have better schools
That give a lifelong education.
You have money at the tips of all
Fingers from jobs
You wanted.
You and your people have water fountains,
So nicely taken care of.
I am black.
Called by girl or worse,
I have the best of the best education
That can be given to an African American.
I have money, but only as much money
The money tree will produce.
My dark southern lips drink water from
Water fountains that crumble with sadness at the sight of this
World wide segregation.
One world, One life,
We all have.
I say yes,
To voting without having to pay a poll tax.
I say yes,
To every child who wants to walk through schools made of bricks or
Maybe even stone. Schools that have books with spines still all compressed neatly together.
I say yes,
To drinking from any water fountain when my throat is scorched
And using any bathroom when I need to.
I say yes,
To sitting down on any bench or any store stoop
When my feet surrender and want to be put to rest.
I say yes,
To be able to pay my bus money and ride the bus in any seat,
Not having to get up for no one,
For I have paid my bus toll like every other person who rides.
Yes, I am
Yes, you are
Different crayons were used to color our skin,
But out of the same box they came from.
God put us on this earth
Together, together to stand.
So why must I have to stand alone
At the back of the bus for you?

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