Life of a White Child by Helen Losse

In the “Good Old Days”
when she was three,
Daddy slid down the pole
with her in his arms and
bought Juicy Fruit gum
from the firehouse machine
for them to share. Neither
Daddy nor Mummy told her
about the savage murder
and the dead family’s bodies
found stuffed down a well
not far from their house
that prompted Daddy
to find other work.

One day on the way home
from Jimmy’s Koffee Kup Kafe
where she got a single-scoop
of ice cream in flat-bottom cone,
Daddy talked with a black
motorcycle cop.
Like other five-year olds,
she’d never heard the word “lynch”
and certainly didn’t know blacks
had been “driven from town”
like cattle, packed
onto a north-bound train.

She never wondered,
even in high school,
why Joplin had so few black people.
She hadn’t read the books
or seen archived articles.

She lived the life of a white child,
her yoke light, moon-glittered
like the world beneath the stars.

One Response to “Life of a White Child by Helen Losse”

  1. The truth hurts, but we need to face it. Powerful poem, Helen Losse.

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