I Didn’t Know

By Sherlyn Assam


I didn’t know All could be exclusive

Or that Lives could be compared

That Matter could still be ripped apart

By the melanin that it shared


When we chant black, we do so pleading –

We wish not to play this game

When they spit all in our faces

They insist on erasing our names


They claim they do not see Black

But I count Lives in pools of red

They say race does not Matter anymore

Not considered when left for dead


My skin aches for understanding

Thought already to have paid its release

I didn’t know All could be exclusive

Their silent hatred disguised as peace

This poem was performed for Carleton JHR’s Speak Out on CKCU FM 93.1

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