I grew up in the South,
The smell of azaleas in spring
like cherry sno-cones permeating the air,
Riding my bike under the oak trees
during summer break.
These memories work like a drug on my mind,
taking me to a safe time and place.
But recently, I see my home,
refracted like light through a prism.
I am white.
My two best friends as a girl were black.
I went to Catholic school,
and I know the golden rule.
I’m not racist,
I moved to California and felt like an ambassador,
shocking people with my liberalism.
All these years,
I thought it was enough;
I didn’t judge people based on their skin color.
My conscience was clear, colorless.
I would have continued this way.
That’s why I praise the black community,
For the strength to band together,
To open eyes.
When I see my own reflection in the mirror,
I’m not satisfied.
What can I do?
How do I start?
These are the questions that now come from my heart