If I Bleed

When I am cut, I bleed.
And if I bleed too
much, for too long
I will die.
If I run across your
razor sharp ignorance
too many times and
must remind you
that the variations
of our experiences
and the past that
made us who we are
are so different that
you must not expect
the same conclusions
from us both because we are women,
I will bleed,
and I will die.
If I am struck too often
by the blows of your
unconcious racism and
you forget that simply
by virtue of birth you
have been set apart and
set aside and set above
and I below, without realizing it,
I will bleed
and I will die.
If I fall too often
under your assumption
of equality and am
trampled by the
compromises I must
make to get you to
hear the anger
which explodes
each time I feel
you stepping on the
pride I hold in our differences,
I will bleed
and I will die.
If I bleed too much
for too long
I will die.

Copyright © 2003. Used with author permission.

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