Issue Twelve - March 2008

Thank You, Miss Barney

By Oak Boesky

Thank you, Miss Barney
For not giving me credit
For those one thousand pages
For ten one hundred page books
On my reading list.

Thank you, Miss Barney
For making me mad
For making me think
About what I had read.
For thinking about racism and equality
And for asking why May
And her daughter Mayola
Rode the bus, front or back of
To clean our house each week
Sometimes twice.

Thank you, Miss Barney
For telling me I was too dumb
To understand racism, slavery, emancipation, Rosa Parks
And Dr. Martin Luther King.
Too young to know why
Six million Jews
Were burned, roasted or gassed
Some of them
My relations.
Maybe in a former life
You were a Nazi
And I still a Jew
Or, you a trader of slaves
And I an African
Stolen from my home.
Who knows?
In any case
In this life
You were the teacher
And I the student
And you woke me up.

©2008 Oak Boesky