Katherine Gotthardt social justice poetry


Was there ever a time
you didn’t judge?
Approached a foreign-looking man,
shook hands, ignored
the sandy feel
of his palm against yours,
his callous, knotty knuckles
irritating your sweet skin
smoothed by shea butter
and shorter work hours?

What did you do?
Did you smile for real?
Did you try not to stare?
Did you find your lost teaspoon
of humanity and offer it to a stranger,
knowing he may never say thank you?
He might not know how, you know.
Or maybe he just doesn’t want to.
So what. His choice.

I’m betting you’ve never been able
to overlook the smell.
I’m betting you look over “others”
the way you look at me.

Too bad judging begets judging.
Because I’m way taller than you.
Even when I’m barefoot.


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