Intersection, Midtown Atlanta – Jude Marr

Where two streets cross, I walk: pale hands in pants pockets, head
lowered: inner city hood—no place to be white some say, who
claim no race: I believe
in setting one foot down, then the next, until
my inner alien is hushed: this is my home-from-home, I say, where
I live low-rent: where I must pace: I believe
in shared space, in six degrees of separation—
                                                                                       as two streets meet
and part, observed by porches strung under rusted trees, I walk
with shoulders rolled below cotton, watching for cracks: I am relaxed
as privilege allows—woman/white—until a teen boy breaks
my stride—

on my right, pride leans out from a yellow chair, which is a throne: his porch has no
rail: his voice, male, startles me—

                later, I may recall a face
                blinded by shades, a braided do—

                every hair a trigger: everywhere, window glass
                to be shattered—

                what I, white/woman, see/don’t see—
                what he knows, or doesn’t know—

                too late, I may recall a brother, shunned
                where pride meets shame (his, mine)—

Hey, sister—

my head, half-turned, arrests—

This my neighborhood—

I am silent as I make a left.  Hands still in my pockets. Head still bent.

judemarrJude Marr teaches and writes poetry as protest. For links to more work, or to buy her chapbook, Breakfast for the Birds, please go to You can also follow Jude @JudeMarr1.