Picked To Be Tokens

Picked to be tokens.
Selected to window dress.
But pleasant and soft spoken.
Going through the motions.
Smiling with hearts broken.
And keeping felt emotions,
To themselves and no one else.

Charading and staging.
In a masquerade that pays.
Enduring cold shoulders.
And ignoring the getting of shade.
No one else knows like they do,
That feeling of being betrayed.
But memories kept to reminisce.
When those days,
Hardly did they sleep.
With nothing to eat.
And miles they would walk,
On dirt roads unpaved.
For times they remember,
Faith kept to take away.

Criticized and despised.
By those on both sides of the aisle.
And others who may stand in their way.
Believing them to be just 'tokens'.
But they know themselves,
Brave and with a backbone.
Tolerating the ones with none shown.

Picked to be tokens.
Selected to window dress.
Charading amongst those,
Who may or may not betray.
But fools they are not.
To know what they have lived through.
And if they must masquerade.
Done to do and get paid.
They will.
Not to have those days to reminisce.
When no one cared if they existed.

"Excuse me.
What is it that you do,
That qualifies you for this job? "

Hmmm. Good question.
Let's see.
The first thing I did years ago.
Was to stop being a slave.
To my own ignorance.
And the next thing I did,
Was to develop patience and tolerance.
For those still there.
I'll explain that to you later.*

by Lawrence S. Pertillar

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