Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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The Heroes That White Men Don't See

This is the freebie for the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from aldersprig, who wanted a poem in honor of Charles Ramsey.  The title is a riff off a famous science fiction story about social invisibility.

The Heroes That White Men Don't See

Charles Ramsey isn't the kind of guy
that most people picture
when somebody says "hero."

He doesn't have the chiseled physique
or the floppy blond hair.
He's slender and dark
and a little scruffy-looking.

Yet he's the one who rescued
three women who had been kidnapped
and imprisoned for years
in a quiet house in an ordinary neighborhood.

Sometimes evil wears a familiar face
and eats barbecued ribs
and listens to salsa music,
and nobody notices for a long time
because it's just so unexpected.

Sometimes courage has keen ears
and a nose for trouble,
going unremarked until suddenly
it's caught in a spotlight.

Being a hero isn't about
having big muscles or a toothpaste smile.
It isn't about the color of your skin
or the amount of money you make.

It's about how you respond
when you hear someone scream for help.
Tags: activism, cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, writing
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