Instead of Running Away, I Raced

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Instead of Running Away, I Raced
–after Maya Angelou

rabid dogs stamped
inferior on my skin
thrust a dish rag in my hand
beat me down with a broom stick
tried to drown me in a mop pail
then they locked me in an iron can
but when the steel bars opened
i learned and i ran
but instead of running away
i raced

amongst many patrons
searching volumes of pages,
volumes of books on library shelves
i raced

amongst many peers in many
computer science, history,
arts, electronics classes
i raced

in many counsels, many mentors
with open ears open eyes,
open heart, closed mouth
i raced

as lowest ranking team member
executing project tasks
project after project after project
i raced

as project captain driving hard
towards aggressive
career threatening deadlines
i raced

rabid dogs stamped
inferior on my skin
thrust a dish rag in my hand
beat me down with a broom stick
tried to drown me in a mop pail
then they locked me in an iron can
but when the steel bars opened
i learned and i ran
but instead of running away
i raced

Jerry T. Johnson, 2017

note:  this poem will appear in the edition 3 re-launch of “Good Morning New Year” – print edition