Tears of Life

My mother came
from a
strict southern
black family
so I've known
pain since I've known
life
Rubber cords
ripped from Black and Decker
irons met my skin
with peculiar
familiarily,
and that contradiction
made me cry tears
of confusion,
hurt,
anger
I'm 21 now
and I still cry
the same tears,
only now my
skin is a little
more calloused
and racism is the cowhide.

Jeremy C. Davis