Naming

Let’s endeavor to call things

what they are.

So that when you see my son,

the words “black boy” don’t taste like tin in your mouth,

but like joy unbounded —

for that is what he is.

To me, his blackness is deep

as the ocean, and twice as wide.

In those gradations he carries

his father

and mother

brothers and

tribe.

Pride. Honor. History.

And while his soul is stitched

from more than blackness,

it’s in there

and out there, plain to see.

He certainly sees it,

can feel it

bone-deep.

So put away your ‘colorblind’ entreaties,

swallow that apology and

embrace all that you see

and all that he is.

I’m not raising him to be sorry

for his blackness,

and neither should you

feel it.

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