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Separate-ly, Equal-ly, Together-ly

What if we'd met at Jackson Memorial in the neonatal ward,
Placed ever so gently, side by side, facing the outside world?
And our parents and relatives and friends they had
Giggled thru an over sized window
And waved and pointed and cooed at us,
Two tiny babies in little pink blankets with silly hats on our heads.
The joy of our grandparents.  The meaning to life.
Heirs to the family misfortunes.
We Separate-ly, Equal-ly, Together-ly went home to be loved by all.
And walking and talking and learning to trust
Were taught in our childhood years.
And you learned to sing, "Amazing Grace"
At the A.M.E Church on the corner
And I learned to sing, "Amazing Grace"
At the Baptist church on the square.

We gossiped together each morning and "double dutch-ed" at lunch.
You angled me through geometry class as I read you through English Lit.
I cheered when you made cheerleader and you cried when I didn't.
We laughed when I made Homecoming Queen,
Went to Macy's and picked out a dress.
Then the day finally came, with diplomas in hand,
Throwing caution to the wind,
We Separate-ly, Equal-ly, Together-ly plunged into the outside world.
And through the years, no matter what, we stayed friends to the bitter end.
As husbands came and husbands went and the world grew up around us.
We loved and prayed and raised our babies.
We shared our families' misfortunes.
Together we sang "Amazing Grace" when people we loved went Home.
And never once in all that time did we ever look askance
That you are a woman of color and I am some shade of white.

Copyright © Betty Robinson

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