Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 4



Our Latest Fashion Accessories…

Jackie Oldham


On your left, you will see
our black and brown communities,
all decked out in their summer wear—

Jaunty straw hats for the urban gents,
paired with a colorful tee shirt
(short sleeved or wife-beater),
long shorts,
calf-length socks matching the tee,
and sneakers or sandals

to head down the street
to the corner store
to hit on the ladies
and buy their smokes

before joining their homies to pop
wheelies on their souped up cycles
down the middle of the main street.

And just behind them,
a group of fruit pickers.
Same straw hats, but this time,
paired with a bandana
to wipe their brows,
denim jeans and shirt,
sleeves rolled up to the elbow,
and scuffed-up boots,

as they make their way down
rows of vegetables and fruits

that will wind up (one way or another)
hundreds of miles away,
to grace your breakfast, lunch,
or dinner plate.

You won’t even wonder
where on earth
the strawberries topping your dessert
or the arugula and tomatoes
in your organically grown, no-GMO salad
came from.

As you watch the pundits on the evening news
declare how much they care
about protecting the voting rights
and civil rights of
our black and brown communities

in the last days of our democracy.

And what about our red and yellow communities?

Maybe they’ll make next year’s top 100 fashion accessories.

If our democracy survives.




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