Hour 18: Dear White Woman Weeping, Knowing You Won’t Win This Time

your fragile tears and trembling voice

let me know how deeply you are hurt

because you feel silenced,

your values drowned

in the jubilance of those sinners

you claim to love

as you hate their sin,

because you did not win

this time

 

i can tell it hurts that others have placed

the “bigot” label

on you

i know the burden of bearing a label

that is not my name

 

still searching for your scars

where your ancestors were whipped into silence

for daring to desire freedom,

for voicing defiance,

i see no scars,

no strength in tears

weeped from eyes that did not watch your children

snatched away

never to be seen again

 

shed tears for words unspoken

not your fragile pain

shed tears for bloodlines broken

not your loss of gain

 

i hear the fear in your shimmering eyes

as you fail to realize

minority is not the same as

marginalized

 

I do not sympathize

12 thoughts on “Hour 18: Dear White Woman Weeping, Knowing You Won’t Win This Time

  1. This is hands down my favorite i have read of yours. This is so beautifully written and powerful.

    “shed tears for words unspoken
    not your fragile pain
    she’d tears for bloodlines broken
    not your loss of gain”

    👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  2. This is fantastic. Very powerful piece that I wish more got and understood and carried with them.

    “i can tell it hurts that others have placed

    the “bigot” label

    on you

    i know the burden of bearing a label

    that is not my name”

  3. I love the line “minority is not the same as/marginalized”
    There are many of the lines are so powerful, true and searing.

    still searching for your scars/where your ancestors were whipped into silence/for daring to desire freedom,/for voicing defiance, was so heartbreaking so well phrased.

    The way purpose and meaning meet here are so important.

    I was a little unsure of “eyes that did not watch your children/snatched away/never to be seen again.” just because It’s possible that that has happened to her, based on the content of the poem, every other thing (the scars etc) were clearly true. But I know a lot of women who’ve had children taken away from them for a wide range of reason/ways, that are all sorts of colors.
    I think there are lots of good powerful things you could say there, that are not that, and I still love the poem with that line there.

    1. I appreciate your response, Caitlin, especially the specifics. Salient point near the end the end. Something I had not considered.

  4. Wow! This is the knee deep broken down to the most intricate detail of anguish not addressed or valued. This poem is a love song that you have written with honor deserved but still not served. I thank you, for the beauty of each line and verse is “poetic justice!”

  5. I applaud your taking this on, and I like the topic. Still, this is a humble opinion. Maybe you’ll accept it, and it’s perfectly fine if you choose to not do so.

    * * * Don’t let your readers get away with putting the “other” as the subject, not themselves as well.

    Could you add some questions that would make the woman (the reader) have to answer reflectively?
    “Do you cry when there’s no witness in a parade?”
    “Do you protest when you are alone?”
    “When did you feel ________ ?”
    * * *
    It becomes easy to set aside the white woman and not look at ourselves. Being Latina and white (and at various times looking as one or the other to the outside world), I am cast in both at various times. There have been times I’ve taken the same proactive work in both “social selves.” Likewise, I painfully recognize times that I’ve benefitted blindly from privilege and the other times I became overly defensive and reactive when facing stereotypes. Again, don’t let readers off the hook by making them focus on someone else but not themselves.

    1. You’ve given me much food for thought. Thank you for this valuable input. I don’t know if I’ll have time to work on it for the anthology but I will definitely do so going into the future.

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