It was sweet, summer day.
Just my girls and me.
Blue cloud-free skies, cool breeze.
A perfect spot under a tree.

It’s been a long, few weeks,
So there under those leaves I prayed:
“God, let today be a perfect “get away” day.

I want to get away from knowing that so many don’t respect the color of my beautiful brown skin –
and not feel some kind of way toward those who look at the racism crisis as just an argument they’re trying to win.

To get away from those who care about favorite facts more than their brown-skinned friends,
To run far from the majority who keep talking – won’t listen -because they insist that they’ll be right in the end.

Most of all, I want to get away from social media comments of friends who refuse to see,
the systemic, subtle racism toward those who look like me.

I wish that I could just forget,
like running off to a beach.
I‘d love to disconnect, disengage – somehow get out of reach.

I wish that I could say,
“I’m turning this off. I’m done.
I don’t want to deal with racism today.”

But people of color don’t have the privilege of choosing to live that way.

I can’t turn it off.
My skin color keeps an awareness of prejudice in my everyday foreground.
I can’t tune it out or turn it down,
But I pray this American nightmare eventually turns around.

Until then, we had almost a perfect get-away day.
Just my lovely girls and me.
Blue skies, a cool breeze.
Trying to live and love in spite of that not-yet answered prayer prayed under a tree.

-Barb Roose | 6.14.20

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