PAD Challenge Day 29: Total No. of Blacks

PAD Challenge Day 29: Write a total (blank) poem.

Total No. of Blacks

Tell me,
How many blacks are
well and alive in America, right now?
How many made it into 2020?
Go ahead, give me your best
count by your ones or twos.
By any means necessary,
please exclude the
three-fifths compromise.

Go ahead,
count away,
do not forget the ones
standing next to you too!
I know, you do not know them,
but count them anyway.
Just in case the Census 2020 forget.
The qualitative and quantitative
research studies exclude them.
The white scientist, doctor, mathematician,
statistician, news, politicians,
teachers, leadership, and institutions
forget them after they take their position.

Go ahead.
Count them out,
while they are still alive, right now.
While you are adding up,
please, do not question our existence
or add our education, social class,
and insurance by the shade of our skin.
‘Cause looking at Crayola,
we are not really black.
We come in different shades.
But we are counted as one under
the breathing, teary eyed, and bloody days of
oppression, suppression, and depression.

Go ahead,
if you must, use your
fingers and your toes,
or any other instrument
that you may know.
Count carefully,
but do not ask about
our grandmothers’ high blood pressure,
our mothers’ infant mortality,
our fathers’ heart disease,
our first cousins’ asthma,
our second cousins’ stroke,
our third cousins’ weight,
our uncles’ cancer,
our aunts’ diabetes,
our sisters’ and brothers’ mental health,
our friends addictions and HIV/AIDs status,
if you do not understand the history
behind miscounting blacks thus far.
Please, do not ask, or
pretend to care like you care,
if you intend to violate
the Hippocratic Oath,
the Belmont Report,
and HIPAA while
short-changing social change.


Photographer: Anonymous
Taken duing one of my art gallery visits Circa 2016


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