Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6: Continuous Deception, Poet of the Week, Natasha Trethewey, "White Lies"

Tonight, I've chosen former Poet Laureate of the United States Natasha Trethewey as Poet of the Week.

And, since we seem to be in a governmental state of continuous deception and redirection, I have chosen Trethewey's poem about not telling the truth.

Saint Marty needs to get his ass moving.  Poets and poetry awaits.

White Lies

by:  Natasha Trethewey

The lies I could tell,
when I was growing up
light-bright, near-white,
high-yellow, red-boned
in a black place,
were just white lies.

I could easily tell the white folks
that we lived uptown,
not in that pink and green
shanty-fled shotgun section
along the tracks. I could act
like my homemade dresses
came straight out the window
of Maison Blanche. I could even
keep quiet, quiet as kept,
like the time a white girl said
(squeezing my hand), Now
we have three of us in this class.

But I paid for it every time
Mama found out.
She laid her hands on me,
then washed out my mouth
with Ivory soap. This
is to purify, she said,
and cleanse your lying tongue.
Believing her, I swallowed suds
thinking they'd work
from the inside out.

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