Not on My Watch

| by Monique Rust Metzing |

you know, folks talk a lot about the “good ole days,” and there is something to that sentiment, i’m sure of it.
but, what i mostly see is just growth and change, some good, some bad…but, really, we are all still just humans-trying-to-be.
ultimately, i perceive a lot of “good ole day” nostalgia as primarily fear (and not entirely reality)-based.
so…as i lay weeping, it occurs to me that some folks might not be even touched by this compilation…might not be moved or compelled or even just a little sad…and i had a little inspiration.
(some free-form prose for your wednesday morning)

back in the day:
women knew their places
and, if you were colored,
you knew better than to show your faces.
back in the day:
it might’ve been every man for himself,
and daddy’s here, mama (avert your eyes),
you’re alright, now.
back in the day:
we might’ve traded integrity for longevity,
and “survival” might’ve well have been
as good as it was gonna get.
(which dictated our entire sex
and took my dark friends completely out-of-context)
…well, you can go scratch…
find a place to wrap your heart around the fact
that your brief little love-affair
with this hate-filled man,
will end just where it began.
i’mma take ALL my fucks back up off the shelf,
do my best to ensure,
history ain’t gonna repeat itself.
no way, not right now.
and, on this day:
i will stand united with a nation divided,
with the rejects and the queers
(all of those who live in fear),
with the ones who’ve never been allowed to just “be”
’cause in the end (you know what i’m sayin’?),
we are all minority.


Excerpt from Ava Duvernay’s new Film, The 13th

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