Friends Black and White
History made us Black.
History made us White.
Anyway, my wife and I
(history made us White)
invited three friends over
(history made them Black),
women. We five laughed
all night, it seemed. Sure,
we talked about some serious
stuff. One of the friends said,
"I'm about to tell you some
sad shit." But mostly we laughed.
Teased each other.
One of the women asked me
what I was up to, as I'm always
up to something. "Among other
things, I'm writing blues lyrics--
but," I added, "white guy--blues
lyrics?--I don't know . . . ." She
said, "It's okay. You're on the list."
And we laughed.
History made two of us White.
History made three of us Black.
We made us friends. I mean,
real friends. It takes some work:
friendship--hell, you know that.
You have to want it. You have
to know your histories. You
have to like to laugh and know
when not to laugh, as when somebody's
telling you some sad shit. You
have to want to learn, especially
if History made you White.
Copyright 2011 Hans Ostrom