Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Fine Rewind

A Fine Rewind (A Poem)
By Stephanie Jeannot

On a fine spring day,
war wounded from battles
with math at a long day of school

while lugging a heavy bag of books
with assignments to complete,
we scrambled in the nick of time 
to catch a bus
like we usually did
and keeping up with the trends of the way things were
It was no different today.

Dinah always let out a big, hearty laugh
because our strength enabled us
to catch the bus ready to speed off from our stop.
The door reopened and we walked up the bus steps
like we usually did;
and keeping up with the trends of the way things were.
It was no different today.

We got to the top of the staircase,
pulled out our bus passes and showed it the driver.
As usual the driver looked at it and then looked at us.
But something different happened this time.
We didn’t make the cut of public transportation riders
who were at liberty to ride on his bus.
We were dropped from consideration to be in his ride
and so were all the other
caramel and chocolate pigmented people
To whom he told to get off of his bus.
And keeping up with the trends of the way things were.
We listened to our elder and got off.

We decided to pound to pavement
to Avenue L where the bus would normally let us off.
I was too young to understand what happened
and thought it was my fault.
Maybe I did something wrong.
All I remember was making a mental note
of what left a bluesy chord in my heart.
But the drone didn’t last long.
Something different happened today.

I reached the corner of Ocean Parkway and Avenue L
and keeping up with the trends and the way things were,
I stood there waiting 
for the light to change.
A Rottweiler walked up 
into my personal space
and started sniffing me like I was his next meal.
There I was taking the alternative approach
of walking as opposed to the bus
from which I was rejected
and now, fear was growing exponentially in me because of some stupid dog;
almost as equivalent as the white driver to the black passengers. 
It felt inauthentic and I did not like it
and my fear of dogs was no different today.

It felt like a dream when my feet transformed
into weld racing wheels
And I started dashing my way from him
like Lighting McQueen at 330MPH.
The work I was engaged in was of a different nature today.
Instead of my normal, walk home with my friends,

I was stomping my feet
like Stanley Biwott at the 2015 NYC Marathon.
I was trying to keep the dog’s teeth off my body
and all this running was so not my style
and somehow I changed the trend
 from the way things were to the way they became.
I was searching for an escape point that bore my name.
It was like being in a dream trying to find the end of the maze.
An end to this fear; an end to the prejudice. 
All the power that was running through my veins
that lead me to the open door that stood ajar for me.
An open door of freedom; a safe zone of humanity. 
Greg held it open and imagine my content.
A change from the downward spirit the bus driver left
and the memory of the crazy day of which’s memory was kept
and keeping up with the trends of the way things were
my brain scanned everything 
and the thoughts constantly turned.
It was no different today; no mind quietness.
Except for the one bad and good thing that I did not expect;
I got thrown off a bus because I was black
I was prompted to run like I was prompted to write. 
But I won the race against a measly dog, one of the many stories in my life. 

Who knew I would?

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