“For Coloreds Only” by Daniel Summerhill

As a black boy, I flew
Back when most colored folk
could only afford the Greyhound bus.

During those hour-long flights
between LA and Oakland,
I couldn’t tell if I was somehow Rosa

or if my grandfather was unsuccessful
indoctrinating me into the 60’s
or if I was just a black boy

or if getting selected for additional screening
every flight was still prefaced by the term “random”
or if they had rather used hoses instead of wands

Still, somehow, each time I boarded,
the jetway seemed a partition in which
I could change in and out of my skin at will

or I was just a black boy
or I was just black
or I was just a boy

Daniel Summerhill is an internationally recognized poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an M.F.A. candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed in over 15 states as well as abroad in Europe. He has shared stages with poets Jasmine Mans, Abiodun Oyewole and others. He has published two collections of poems and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk, Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons as well as Afropunk London.

Image: “Random Number Multiples” via Jer Thorp Flickr

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