Black People & White People Were Said


I love this poem.  I don’t fall in love easily.  Other than reading that the poet lives in North Carolina, I know nothing else.   What age,  race, and gender do you think the poet would be?  It’s deceptively simple, words are jammed together, I couldn’t have been happier.  Elevating my happiness was learning king snakes eat copperheads.  And you know how snakes digest…..

Black People & White People Were Said
                                    Kerry Johannsen

to disappear if we looked at

each other too long

especially the young ones —

especially growing boys & girls

the length of a gaze was

watched sidewise

as a kingsnake

eyeing a copperheadwhile hands

of mothers and fathers gently

tugged their children close

white people & black people were said to

disappear ifbut nobody ever said it

loudnobody said it

at all& nobody ever

talked about where

the ones who didn’t listen

went

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