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July 22, 2019 | by  | in Poetry | [ssba]

hidden figures

i think the problem with black history

is that we already know how this song and dance

goes, glass half empty.

i watch three black women put a man into space


and i’m always waiting for the punchline, the

moment where the perfect illusion dissolves 

and we get thrown back to square one.

i’m so cautious of the happy ending


because somewhere along the way i

learned that people like us don’t get them.

the white astronaut puts his faith in her brilliance,

looks past her skin,


her white boss removes the coloured sign 

off the bathroom,

the music swells,

and i’m still holding my breath,


where’s the catch? where are the terms and

conditions for this one act of human decency,

the oppressed are never handed anything

without having to fight for it.


i’m sitting in the movie theatre, crying

at the story of three black women who won,

and still i am thinking

this cannot be real.


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