A Double-sided Fence

I spend my life lounging on a double-sided fence,

On one side, the fence is invariably immaculate

and  painted a winter of freshly fallen snow.

The other side of the fence is ridden with holes,

and it’s hue is of the hard-packed earth.


Sometimes little children stare at me from both sides of the fence.

Angels with silky golden hair that falls as water does and wan skin

are dolled up in pretty pink gingham dresses and shiny black shoes

while the other side has gritty hair and skin the color of the moonless night

and rags worse than a mendicants without shoes to cover their blistered feet.


Sometimes I try to walk on each side of the fence.

The pale people on the white side whisper words like mulatto and gawk.

The dark people on the black side let me into their homes to talk.

One thing is the same on each side, all the people come and flock

towards me as if they have caught a glimpse of something queer.


At times, I want to demolish the fence,

so that I no longer have to decide which side to walk,

but the people have no intention of letting me do such.

Therefore I resign to recline on the fence

because I belong on both of its sides.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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