by GUEST WRITER JIMMY WOODFILL
Inequality marched on Selma, Birmingham, and of course D.C.
Discrimination will be snuffed out: equality for all… let it be, let it be.
We’re not being thrown from buildings, or burned, or lynched.
Be grateful the crumbs I’m tossed, nay sure I’m convinced.
Oppression: a word not hard to define in the least.
We hear it on Twitter, world news, and battles in the Mideast.
While waiting for the crosswalk, they shout “fag,” a beer bottle thrown at my feet.
It didn’t even get my shoes wet – did oppression and I just meet?
Stifling tears, I click on the remote to ease my anxiety.
Polite tidy panels of four, a discussion on TV:
Debating my rights, whom I should love, where I can work, whether I’m a danger to children?
Hurting kids… I’m just a wannabe writer, mostly watching “Grey’s,” and chillin.’
But at night in my mind’s eye, my rainbow color wings unfurl, and I soar like a mythical
Phoenix over unseen blue and red states. I glide over swaying fields and crashing oceans,
echoing dry canyons and crisp mountainous rivers so vast. I ascend northern metal giant
skyscrapers and then plummet to the southern delta with its humidity, cobblestones and sweet-
sweet jazz. I experience life as my multilayered kaleidoscope-prismed wings, all the differences
needed and in harmony.
“Bird of Paradise”
My sister is a bird of paradise, the pretty one, the first grandchild, the only girl.
Upon my grandfather’s lap she shouts orders to us lesser children, we recoil from her wrath and
marvel at the way she has them hanging on her requests.
We long to be in the birds’ universe, but always feeling cautious and watchful when granted
limited access; for she always bites. It’s inevitable; it’s in her nature, her radiant design.
The world hearkens her whims and desires; I stay in the shadows hesitant to shine on my own. I
fall flat, she shrugs at my gaff. It’s inevitable; it’s in my nature, my flawed self.
She reigns over her adobe estate, squawking commands that must be completed post haste. She
knows I’ve come to inquire a favor. “Come forward little brother, you know we always do for
family.” A drop of bird venom…
I am the pink sheep of the family,
sissy is what some called me.
Their guns, their god, their glory,
but I am not welcomed to share their story.
Just another minority born into the enemy camp,
so I found refuge under a night club speaker amp.
No longer a misfit, I travel the world with my own kind,
their willful blindness never cross my mind.
Our haven lost at the Pulse, Eddy and forty eight people died;
months earlier, I’d dance eternally by his side.
We weren’t that close, just flag football friends;
this I tell myself, when my panic attack ends.
Mom says: “come on home baby, I’ll bake you fresh bread all day,”
my bags in the trunk, her cars NRA sticker on display.
Jimmy Woodfill is an aspiring writer, world traveler, citizen of the planet and a student of the
school of hard-knock’s – plus a few other universities. He lives in New Mexico and can be found on Twitter at @PonderingJimmy