I wrote this poem when I was trying to catch some sleep in Charles de Gaulle Airport. I had just experienced an 11 hour flight from Johannesburg and everything around me was becoming whiter and whiter as I returned to Minnesota. I closed my eyes and could hear the conversations around me. It was the banal banter you’d expect in an airport. The interactions between white middle class parents and their children played as a chorus around me. A few lines popped into my head as I dozed off. I jotted it down into a poem.
White shoes that don’t leave scuff marks on the gym floor.
When did everything get so white?
When you became a mother? When you became a wife?
ones without crime, with good teachers and extra curriculars
with organic snacks and time to volunteer on field trips
and field days.
with snow and gifts,
once a year in church,
and resolutions for more moderation.
with friendly police,
long, healthy lives,
two child fertility,
and all the other