Ambassador Bridge

Ambassador Bridge

Challenge Detroit is absolutely nothing of what I expected and for that I’m extremely appreciative. Being honest, my friends usually look like me and the idea of anything else seemed odd. But not now. Granted, there were times I questioned whether or not I belonged and whether or not I was capable of delivering. It was not until our “race relations” conversation that I began to really understand why I had been so reserved with my peers. I am thankful for that open space. I am thankful for the honesty that was shared. I am thankful for emotions and opportunity to be free in Challenge Detroit….which brings me to this poem that was featured in my latest read.

“I’ve had enough
I’m sick of seeing and touching
Both sides of things
Sick of being the damn bridge for everybody

Can talk to anybody
Without me Right?

I explain my mother to my father my father to my little sister
My little sister to my brother my brother to the white feminists
The white feminists to the Black church folks the Black church folks
To the Ex-hippies the ex-hippies to the Black separatists the
Black separatists to the artists the artists to my friends’ parents…

I’ve got the explain myself
To everybody

I do more translating
Than the Gawdamn U.N.

Forget it
I’m sick of it

I’m sick of filling in your gaps

Sick of being your insurance against
The isolation of your self-imposed limitations
Sick of being the crazy at your holiday dinners
Sick of being the odd one at your Sunday Brunches
Sick of being the sole Black friend to 34 individual white people

Find another connection to the rest of the world
Find something else to make you legitimate
Find some other way to be political and hip

I will not be the bridge to your womanhood
Your manhood
Your human-ness

I’m sick of reminding you not to
Close off too tight for too long

I’m sick of mediating with your worst self
On behalf you your better selves

I am sick
Of having to remind you
To breathe
Before you suffocate
Your own fool self

Forget it
Stretch or drown
Evolve or die

The bridge I must be
Is the bridge to my own power
I must translate
My own fears
My own weaknesses

I must be the bridge to nowhere
But my true self
And then
I will be useful”

Before Challenge Detroit, this is how I felt, truly. I was tired of being the thesaurus for people who may or may not care to learn more about each other’s culture. Not now though….it’s nice to know that I am part of a cohort that desires a bridge not so someone can come acorss, enlighten them and return. No…my fellows and I desire the bridge so we can cross it ourselves, so we can learn, so we can encourage, so we can become better.

Thank you.