Why would a simple act as 
offering an elderly woman
my seat
be imbued with 
Racial Overtones?

 

So I am sitting on a pew 
With three other young women
All White
Watching a concert in a sanctuary 
That is packed with 
Standing room only
I watch the backs of the heads of gray
All belonging to White people
Old People

 

In the back where I sit
Several people are standing
The first Old Lady
Comes to the corner and
One of the white young women
Rises to give up her seat
I watch the Old Lady 
Daintily move in to sit close to 
Me
I wonder if she will feel discomfort 
Sitting next to
Me

 

I don’t have time to ponder this
Because another Old(er) Lady appears
This one looks a bit younger
She keeps looking my way 
I guess thinking I ought to give up 
My seat

 

I begin thinking about Race
What would it look like
If I were to 
Jump up
And offer her
My Seat

 

Should Age trump Race?
Should my sense of decency trump Race
What about this situation makes me 
squirm uncomfortably in the pew

 

I feel cornered

 

Needless to say as I ponder 
All this 
I forget about giving 
My Seat
I am just consumed by
My Dilemna

 

Another young person
Gives up her seat
I go scot-free for now
A few more minutes

 

My eyes catch those of an 
Elderly Black Lady
And I almost beg her to 
Take 
My Seat
Hoping this will 
Relieve me of 
My Guilt
And relieve me from 
Having to eventually feel 
guilty enough 
to give it to a
White Old Lady

 

All of a sudden 
They seem to be 
coming out
of the woodwork
Everywhere…

LEAVE A REPLY