pablum

I was bottle fed bigotry

Prejudices were pablum

To be swallowed without question

Did my teething on intolerance

I was fed spoonful after spoonful

of mashed bananas with racism

washed down with hypocrisy

Before I lost my baby teeth

I knew that girls were less than

I was fed a steady diet of hate

and lies

and pride?

โˆด

I was fed this set of beliefs as a child

My guess is You were fed some hatred too

But we are no longer being Force fed

Iโ€™ve changed my diet, have you?

~Melanie Thomason

17 Comments

Filed under Poetry

17 responses to “pablum

  1. WOW! You had me at the first line Melanie. This is outstanding.
    It is true that racism, hatred, bigotry are often planted in innocent minds at an early age. We have evolved when we think on our own without this influence.
    Powerful piece! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. nokindofmagic

    Your writing is always so focused…

  3. richardlwiseman

    Love ‘… mashed bananas with racism…’ very clever multi layer metaphor. Lovely poem.

  4. Reblogged this on Rethinking Life and commented:
    A new poem by Melanie.

  5. Powerful and spot onโ€ฆexcellent poem.

  6. I was raised in a very dysfunctional family, or so I thought until i met racism. My senior year of high school there were stabbings in the hallway, a call to police, followed by the arrival of 16 squads cars and classes dismissed fordays.

    Early in my twenties, driving the backroads from Texarkana to Shreveport, one day I came across the most bewildering sight. Ignorant of all that was within that moment, i glanced about the quiet and desolate streets of the small community. I must have sat at the stop sign for several minutes. To my right, just yards away from me, stood the remains of a smoldering wooden cross in the front yard of a small white church. The streets were dampened by the rainshower that had fallen before my arrival. Somehow, something told me that it was not the rain that had chased the people into their homes.
    I recall thinking, “How can I smother the last of the burning cross? How can i stop the scarring of such a sacred object?”

    As i drove home I tried mentally backtracking my drive into that town. Had anything been out of the ordinary? In reflection i remembered nothing.

    Arriving home i would recant my story to my husband. He asked me, “What did you do?” I told him there didn’t seem as if there was anything i could do, and how the thought ran through my mind of how i wanted to find a way to smother the smoke, but i realized i was helpless and with no one, anywhere within sight, i continued toward home. He told me that i should not have had such a thought, ignorant was I to think of even considering to stop once i entered upon the scene, stupid to sit there as a target. Lucky, was I to be alive. Confused I ask him what was this? And he replied, “Hatred.”

    I was thankful that i had been raised overseas in my earliest years and later lived in northern Colorado. And as dysfunctional as my life had been, i had never known racism, never been educated to hate those who were different. The only hatred i held from my youth came in a bottle. The one that my parents drowned their lives within.

    I don’t advocate alcoholism as a treatment to extinquish hatred, intolerance and racism. I do advocate putting out the smoldering ignorance that leads some to believe in half-truths and lies.

    How do we do that? It begins, I believe, by listening.

    Today i constantly ask myself, “What is the true meaning behind the religion of Muslims?” I have friends who believe anyone of the faith wants to destroy this world.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. The truth is dysfunction comes in many forms and racism is just one type of poison that is fed to us. Yes we all need to listen, really listen and also to speak out!

  7. I switched from bananas of racism to just regular bananas. Some folks in the family question my decision, but I feel much healthier!

  8. Pingback: pablum | Artists4Peace

  9. Reblogged this on Wordifull and commented:

    Reposting a poem from 2015…

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