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Friday, April 11, 2014

Poetry Friday- Wonder #11- CN Tower

Edgewalk- CN Tower, Toronto
I am participating in Mary Lee Hahn's "Our Wonderful World" this month. Mary Lee has compiled a list of thirty wonders, and each day she is writing a poem about a different one. Today's wonder is the the CN Tower in Toronto. When I googled CN Tower, the first thing that came up was the Edgewalk. The Edgewalk is an extreme attraction, 1168 feet above the ground. Somehow, my poem came from the pictures of that attraction.

"Edgewalk"

Why would I choose to walk
1,168 feet above the ground
way up there
way out there
at the CN Tower?

I already walk the edge.

I walk the edge
every time
I walk into a barbershop
with my two little
nappy haired guys.
Conversations stop
as every person in the shop
looks at me.
And I feel so white.  

I walk the edge
every time
I walk through a mall
with my African American princes.
Security guards
follow the boys
all the  way
down the mall.
And I feel so white.

I walk the edge
Every time I climb the bleachers
at my son's basketball games.
Nine black boys
with their families.
And me with my sons.
They call me "Miss Carol"
for the first five years.
And I feel so white.

I walk the edge
when I try to explain
to my fifteen-year-old
why he got a $68 ticket
for riding his bike through a stop sign
 in our quiet urban neighborhood
on the way too football practice.
"Kids do it all the time," he says.
I know he is right.
And I feel so white.

I walk the edge
when I explain to my boys
how they should behave
if they are stopped by the police.
Or if they are in the presence
of young and beautiful white women.
Act like a gentleman.
Don't give anyone reason to doubt your intentions.
Leave if there are any problems.
Or if you hear anything about guns. 
I know the conversations would be different
if my boys looked different.
And I feel so white.

Why would I choose to walk
1,168 feet above the ground
way up there
way out there
at the CN Tower?

I already walk the edge every day.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2014


Today is Poetry Friday. Head over to Michelle's, "Today's Little Ditty" to celebrate her blog's one year birthday and enjoy lots more poetry.

4 comments:

Violet N. said...

What a moving poem, Carol. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into what must sometimes feel like tightrope living.

Violet N.

Mary Lee said...

You've got your own version of "beautiful. And poignant. And heartbreaking…"

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Wow, Carol. I love this poem, but at the same time it makes me so very sad. I wish things could be different.

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Very powerful, Carol. Thank you for sharing this. :)