I Put Away My Sign

I put away my sign
Because I was afraid that it would mark my house
Not so the angels can pass over
But so evils and ignorance do not linger
At my front door
Threatening my children a life of “how it was before”

The kids, their colors of innocence
Cowardly adults, their colors of shame
Speak English louder, so they can hear you!
“Hope”, “Faith”, “Trust” are paid in tokens of privilege
No matter how many generations,
you’re still a foreigner, not the same, not part of the village

There’s an anger
Buried deep and wrapped in so much decorum
The ember burns hot like spent shells left in my childhood’s garden
Someday the fire will get out, into the forest
It will burn, and from the ashes, sprout a new world,
full of colors and red

I put away my sign in the dark, while the world slept
My children would not see the hypocrisy
The lesson of decency is now subtle empty holes in our front yard
Care for others, trust others, trust the systems
Observe the rules but will their neighbors do the same?
I trust what I see, and I trust history

If this world was built on violence and trauma
Men of color are taught to protect their homes in silence
Men of color, the model minorities, the monsters, the weaklings, the invisible lambs
On bended knees, throat to the grounds
With hands, sharp like two swords, eyes cold like bullets
Cuffed like animals while the world looked on

How much longer will it take?
How much more will it take?
Before the charcoal burn through
The many thin layers of paper trying to suffocate its light?
Press hard enough and history will eat itself
Like a snake swallowing its tail in the night.