White Wisdom

I met a man, and heard him speak --
I must climb or fall, go up or down;
For the man was a challenge, a mountain peak!
But I turned my back; he was too dark brown.

I met a man who shook my being
Like sweeping chords from the master's cello!
Dared I live by laws of his decreeing?
I walked away, for his skin was yellow.

I met a man with searching eyes.
His gaze met mine like a thunder crack!
My life lay naked with no disguise.
But I passed him by; he was almost black.

I met a man and he made me sin.
He showed me things that brought delight
To my glaring, animal eyes within.
Yet I took his hand, for his face was white.

October, 1965