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Kept Away

I have seen
the faces
of the pushed-down,
the cut-round,
the chained-bound,
on the periphery
of the country;
the outskirts
of the opportunities.

I have seen
the lines placed
and people chased
because of their
race
or class
or nationality
or gender
or sexuality
or species
or HIV.

I have seen
their tears and screams
as we strangle equality
and worship our money
with so many
in the penitentiary.

Don’t you know?
the way we go
ain’t gettin us nowhere
cuz we just don’t care
bout our own demise
telling lies upon lies
while ignoring
the cries
of the kept away
from a place to stay
or a job that pays
or a smiling face.

Kept away
from the stage
where rights
are claimed.
But zoning me
will zone you
with me.
Keep you
from prosperity
away
from mobility.

So show
Hospitality
against the brutality.
So show
Divinity
when they assign
minorities.
If I’m brought down
your blood
saturates the ground
and we’re both
butchered.

So embrace the brothers
shelter the sisters
that stare at you
from the sidelines
wondering
how
they’ll survive.
And Transcend
the lines—
Transience
over tolerance,
Love
for those behind the fence.
Equalize
and Repent
so all
can enjoy
the gift of choice
and a heeded voice.

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