Good White People
Not my phrase, I swear, 
But my grandmother’s 
When someone surprised her 
By holding open the door 
Or by singing that same high C 
Stephanie Mills holds 
Near the end of “I Have Learned 
To Respect the Power of Love” 
Or by gifting her with a turkey 
On the 24thof December 
After a year of not tipping her 
For cleaning what they could afford 
Not to clean. You’ll have to forgive 
My grandmother with her good 
Hair and her good white people 
And her certified good slap across
Your mouth. Crack the beaten door 
To eat or sing, but do not speak 
Evil. Dead bad black woman 
I still love, she didn’t know 
What we know. In America 
Today, anyone can turn on
A TV or look out a window 
To see several kinds of bird 
In the air while each face watching 
Smiles and spits, cusses and sings
A single anthem of blood—  
All is stained.  She was ugly.  
I’m ugly.  You’re ugly too.
No such thing as good white people.
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