Lawrence S. Pertillar

Gold Star - 81,510 Points (February/'47 / Connecticut, USA)

Personal Issues - Poem by Lawrence S. Pertillar

"Times have changed.
So rapidly done.
Some have stayed,
Where they were yesterday.
And decades before that."

Tell me about it.
In fact...
Too many today,
Have forgotten where they came from.
Trying to be 'all that'.
And better than everybody else.
Shucks.
Doggoneit.
I remember the days,
When folks remained comfortable...
To stay in their places.
And didn't pretend to be so independent.
Doing their best to impress.
Like they do today.
Talking all proper.
As if their mess don't stink.

"Sounds to me,
Somebody has got a few personal issues."

That's what I'm saying.

"If you don't mind me asking.
How old are you? "

Old enough to know what I'm talking about.
Why?

"Just curious.
You appear much younger than I thought."

I'm told all the time I have a young mind.

"Sometimes having a young mind can blind."

What you mean by that?

"Tell me this.
These people you refer to.
The ones thinking today they 'all that'.
Had they been assigned to do house chores?
While others labored in the fields.
Planting and picking cotton?
And sneaking to use out houses? "

What?
Out houses?

"I bet they speak their minds.
And you don't like that about them, huh? "

Not really.
Plus they walk around strutting.
As if they got three or four pots to piss in.
And ain't got nothing I'm impressed by.
Why can't they just be themselves.
You know.
Like the rest of us.

"The rest of 'us'? "

You know.
Those of us who know our ancestry.

"And have visions and wishes,
To re-create living on plantations.
Doing our best to please 'da mastuh'.
Being good little boys and girls,
Staying that way for the rest of our lives.
Not showing off and stuff like that.
Loving to stay as ignorant as possible.
Joking around and being clowns."

Well...
Not all the time.
But not take life so seriously.

"You mean...
Like those other people do.
Trying their best to improve themselves? "

Yeah.
But...
Not pretend.
Just to impress.

"I hear you.
Loud and clear.
Somebody has got a few personal issues."

That's what I'm saying.
They done forgot where they came from.

"And, unlike you...
They can't keep it remembered either.
Right? "

Oh...
I'm gonna keep it remembered.
That's why I stay right where I is.

"Keeping it real.
Living your history."

Our history.

Topic(s) of this poem: commentary


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 23, 2019



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