139. another time, another place (epstein).

I remember, when I was eleven
or twelve,
that in the musty museum-scented entrance,
where still it smells of hot radiators & polish,
loitered a couple of niggers
in chains
 – a bronze –
and I remember a feeling, even at that age,
of what a clumsy fumbling apology this was
by whitey
for something we never had a hand in –
a whining plea by proxy.
As easy on the eye as a shrinkwrapped turd
 – a worthless dusty nod in the direction of reconciliation.
but for whom ?
not for me, or you, most likely.

I didn’t forge those chains
or rape that woman.

this is a saying sorry to the notional blackman
when most of us are apologists for one thing or
victims of another
& that’s a part of the human condition –
having the choice between right & wrong
– only some folk are just born in the wrong place
at the wrong time.

So, apologise for your own misdemeanours if you must,
Jack, but please, let me confess my own.