WE ARE BIRTHERS

How did we get here, where we don’t belong?
We are birthers, racist against ourselves,
not wanting someone of our color
to be in charge of our lives.

We are showroom birthers. We are standing here
exposing ourselves in the public domain of our friends
and enemies, we go on campaigns
to discredit ourselves, to evade the
question of what we do,
and think of credentials, of paper work,
notary publics, the awards, degrees,
the clubs we’re born in and the clubs we join.
We look around and change our pose.
We are birthers.

We’re being watched and we feel our pulse.
We have claims to authenticity, and we refuse
to acknowledge them. No amount of proof
will demonstrate to us our own validity.
We cannot be accepted.
We are not natural born.

We go on the television in our minds,
and insinuate that we are ineligible to be who we are.
We start to move, and we break the glass.
We go into a club and there we start to dance.
We are birthers.

There is a mechanism, a network of misinformation
in ourselves. No matter what we put in our minds
this will not be put to rest.
We step out and take a walk through the city.

               –Drew Gardner

Amelia read this poem recently and asked the poet for permission to re-post; thanks Drew (who is one of the nation’s great Flarfists!). For Amelia, this poem expands old lines into new places; Amelia’s old borrowed lines are ‘there are those who are busy being born and those who are busy dying’ or ‘we are our own worst enemy’ and ‘evasion is desirable.’ This poem reminds Amelia that there are things we choose and things that are chosen for us- and she wonders in terms of Frelinghuysenfolly government how conscious the populous is about the line between the two?

‘We go on the television in our minds,
and insinuate that we are ineligible to be who we are.
We start to move, and we break the glass.’

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