“Think about what it takes for a Black person to love America. That is a deep love for this country that for far too long we have never fully recognized.” – President-elect Joe Biden
On the third Monday in January you’ll find me
writing an ode I can’t quite finish, like a New Year’s
resolution I’ll stick to next time, I promise.
I’m Jewish, which in America means I’m white,
which means I don’t represent our dispossessed;
I wish to neither be silent nor misspeak.
Who am I to celebrate what I haven’t lived, or mourn
what I haven’t suffered from? Son of an immigrant,
I’ve crossed many borders seeking knowledge.
I drive MLK Boulevard to MLK High School
to give a speech to a mostly Black student body.
Shall I tell of Holocaust and Gulag?
Confess I only just heard the Black National Anthem?
I have a dream that my son forgives me my ignorance,
writes no odes—understands what it means to love.
Monday, January 18, 2021