What Rough Beast | Poem for January 24, 2017

Robbie Gamble
As a White Man in America

I try to remember these two things every day:

  1. That this beautiful land
    I get to walk upon each day,
    all got commandeered
    by my ancestors, violently,
    from the people who were here
    before them.
  2. That this wonderful economy
    I enjoy, humming with material comfort
    and strewn with shiny things,
    all got jumpstarted
    by over two centuries
    of free labor provided
    by the people that my ancestors
    indentured and brought over here
    violently, against their will.

Two simple facts
so hard to register in my heart
as a white man in America.

Robbie Gamble lives in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is currently completing an MFA in poetry at Lesley University. When he is not preoccupied with image and line breaks, he works as a nurse practitioner caring for homeless people in Boston.

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