Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Superiority











Superiority


He looked out his window.
A stream of people flowed
past his abode. The fact
and number of them startled
him. He turned and asked
his cohabitant, "Who are they?"
She said, "They're just some
of the people who think they're
better than you are." "Better
at what?" he asked. "At nothing--
or everything. Superior. They're
better overall than you." "They
know me?"he asked. "Of course
not," he said, "Don't be ridiculous.
Or be ridiculous. They don't need
to know you. They're superior."
"Oh," he said, as if he understood.
"What should I do?" he asked her.
"Probably what you've always done," she said.
"Work. Keep to yourself. Stand by friends."
"Am I better than anyone?" he asked.
"Of course not," she said, laughing.
"No one is better than anyone else.
Remember? Jesus, don't you know
anything?" she said. "Don't take
that superior tone with me," he said.
They shared a bit of a laugh,
cooked some food, and ate it.
He looked out the window again,
and all the superior people were gone.


Copyright 2008 Hans Ostrom
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