Think of a Polaroid,
with its thick, white border around my
snapshot of Kadeem,
little boy with shiny onyx skin
squatting behind white bars
on my uncle’s porch
Face pressed hard to the wood,
he reminds me of the near half a million*
Black men sitting
in cold cement cells
barred in isolation by oppression
idleness and self-defeat;
their potential to achieve
on lock down by those same bars The World wants him
to stand behind later in his life.
“SMILE!”… quick click, burst of light.
I turn it around to view
10 megapixels of family
gathered before a turquoise horizon.
Same little black boy with the shiny onyx skin,
all grown up, stands in front.
The pearl white cap and gown set
is the perfect contrast against
picture an old Polaroid
The photo just taken, displays a Black man
in a fight to slay historical lies--
And as my grandmother shouts,
“It’s time to celebrate!”
Damn, Polaroids... Do they even still make those?