“There”

I wrote this poem for my “African Americans, Unitarians, Universalists and Unitarian Universalists” class at Meadville Lombard Theological School, Fall 2015.

“There”

Feels like we’ve been traveling forever
but we’re still not there.
Lord knows we’ve tried – each in our own way – to get there,
wherever “there” is.

Working groups, task forces, coalitions, allies.
Resolutions and programs.
Catch acronyms and fancy names.
We think and think and talk and talk,
then think and talk some more.
Lord knows we’ve tried – each in our own way – to get there,
wherever “there” is.

They try so hard to include me.
But I thought I was already included.
Now I feel like an outsider.
Lord knows we’ve tried – each in our own way – to get there,
wherever “there” is.

I know it’s better than it was.
But it still feels like I’m supposed to
set aside a piece of who I am
in order to belong.
I won’t do it.
My Unitarian and Universalist ancestors worked too hard
for me to give up now.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper whispers softly in my ear,
“Keep going, child.”
Yes, ma’am.  It’s a struggle sometimes but
I don’t feel no ways tired.

We’ve made some progress and we’ll make some more.
We’ll keep trying.  We’ll get there someday.
Wherever “there” is.

 

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