I live underground.
I seem to be whole.
I have two arms, two legs,
I can move freely,
If I stay down.
Surfacing is tricky.
Some people don't want to see all of me.
They can accept
My fingers, maybe some knuckle.
Sometimes I can reach out as far as my elbows.
Sometimes I go feet first, and make it to my knees.
But emerging whole
It makes the people
Whose feelings matter more than mine
They squirm, unaccustomed to seeing bodies like mine.
My existence is an abstract to them
Something to argue about, and dismiss when they're bored.
The arguments happen because they feel they are to blame somehow.
They do not seem to grasp
That keeping me down,
That is their culpability
That is their contribution
To the centuries of oppression
To the history they find too ugly to reveal.
That is when the fresh new hands
By shoving us down
And telling us it's not time