DEFIANCE OHIO


The White Shore Lyrics

We grew up into lives scrawled on back of mediated maps
in their lines invisibly entrapped.
And this birthright more like a birth mark whose area
and edges grow ragged with age. A malignancy untested,
it consumes us anyway.
It consumes us anyway. It consumes us anyway.

I grew up near the white shore, without ever knowing
that name - just how lines starkly drawn will check you
in one box or another.
And in the space between past and passing, we hold
classroom discussions of Amy Tan novels forgetting this
is personal. Family is always personal. History is
always personal.

I will not condemn what anyone did to survive.
But I will not defend a culture that makes us decide.
To assimilate or die.
Or that defines survival as
running as fast as you can from the places you came
from,
forgetting the things that have made you,
until all that is left is the burning in your lungs or
the pounding in your hear that only has space for
contempt for the ones who couldn’t quite make it.

That we are all the same: what a happy myth,
where race records become erased records
with time and meter to help us forget
or to take away the sting
as we define survival as
running as fast as you can from the places you came
from,
forgetting the things that have made you,
until all that is left is the burning in your lungs or
the pounding in your hear that only has space for
contempt for the ones who couldn’t quite make it.

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