Poem 11

Get Real

Poised with a dripping pen,

Lying in wait for the misstep

One mistake

And you’re toast.


Run for office?

Vent your voice?

Public shaming looms large.


You’re called a racist







Colored People’s time?

Only if you’re colored.

Call someone a bitch?

Only if you’re female.

Call out a queer?

Only if you own it.


Rules turn muddy

And we wait to spring

From the shadows

At the gaffe

That proves we are better

We are better

I am better

Than you.



About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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2 Responses to Poem 11

  1. treeinspace says:

    I have been enjoying your “poem a day” quest. Keep jousting!


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