Down the Line by Andrew Scotson

Son of a slave
now his country has need
and he owns his own
picket fence and blue wooden house.

His thin body in sleeveless vest,
arms muscled and strong,
face bearded and marked by worry,
his hands tend to clench
the fists are never far.

His girls cower in the corridor
while he guards the threshold,
the insurance man,
fat, young and white
waits on the step
access denied.

When you whip a man into submission
then release your grip
it takes a long time
for trust to return.

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