A ‘Copper’ Colored Cloak!

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Little girl, you’re just a penny, a copper colored runt.
You were never worth a quarter, that’s always out in front.
Get behind this here dime, even a nickel has you beat.
For that copper shell you wear, you’ll always take the heat.

This is where you stand, see the ‘colored only’ sign?
Your color denotes your rank, now get in the other line.
You thirst for a drink of water, too bad your mother’s poor.
We refuse to serve your kind and don’t you come here anymore.

The ghetto is your home, it’s where you all belong.
It’s because you’re copper colored and that is oh so wrong.
Best not to think you’ll ever know fame and fortune’s smile.
You’ll always be the least of us and never worth our while.

No taste or hint of freedom will you pennies ever know.
Your wings have long been clipped and they will never grow.
The deck was stacked against you before you were ever born
and though your cloak is strong, it’s the worst you could have worn.


Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

7 thoughts on “A ‘Copper’ Colored Cloak!

  1. Wow, this poem really saddens me, but it is a great poem none-the-less. Unfortunately though it is great for some truly horrible reasons. Keep fighting the fight and maybe someday some humanity will sink in and put an end to this crap.

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    • Thanks Dom. I sort of morphed this into a poem about the unfortunate situation in Detroit and the fact of racism because the little girl depicted here starred in ‘Annie’ and the racist comments spewed forth, unchecked. Some things NEVER change!

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      • Well in either case I’m certain that Detroit is not alone in dealing with racism. Unfortunately you could insert almost any city or towns name in place of Detroit and the problem would not change one little bit. This is an unfortunate and ugly truth. Anyway, I wanted you to know that I appreciate reading your point-of-view though it makes me sick that you have to write on this topic at all in 2014.

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  2. Copper is the most beautiful of metals. I know on account of I rock hound and I’ve found native copper that is exquisite. Shines brighter than gold. Yeah I have some of that too. One finds the gold in white quartz. Little tiny specks of it. But copper, well, the copper is far prettier in it’s native state. People that are blessed with the copper shading are, well, blessed above all that walk our shared Planet Earth. I’m not of the copper persuasion. Nope and when I’m out in the sun for a way too long I take on this boiled crab sort of reddish shade. Stings too.

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    • Skulz, I am tanned but aiming for copper. I like the lyrics in 2PAC’s song, “Keep Ya Head Up!

      “Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.
      I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots.”

      Thankfully, I get darker the more I’m out in the sun and gardening this year has helped.

      Oh dear, you’ve the type of skin that will burn but not tan. I know that people with red hair have a hard time tanning. You watch it out there Skulz. The sun ain’t too good for those who boil, so be careful. We want you around for a very long time!

      And thank you for that lovely comment about the color of copper and those who are of the copper hue or complexion. Bless your heart for being thoughtful, kind and considerate. Take care!

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