The Penny Dropped



by Chuquai Billy

So today the penny finally dropped and splashed into a reflection pool shimmering with reality like swarms of sharks;

And the lessons that I always stowed away in the back of my head, that I knew one day I would need, now leak out like clouds of obnoxious gas – 

“See I told you so.”

Because let’s face it, I always knew how they felt about us, but I gave them the benefit of doubt anyway;

Since Columbus

Since the trail of tears, sand creek and wounded knee

They tried to cover it up ever since 1968 when the world witnessed how they killed Martin Luther King Jr, identifying racist American truth like a mental illness

So under the carpet it went

And taught and retaught to generations of narrow minds

Watching replays again and again in the span of my own lifetime:

That time when I was six and the white teacher didn’t allow me and two Navaho girls to join in at a school dance with the others, told us to sit quietly outside in the hallway and how she smiled when my tears welled because I didn’t understand why I couldn’t to be included with the other children.

Sorry no redskins allowed.

And a few years later in the ninth grade that girl I really liked, Joanne…God I thought she was gorgeous. A teenage Venus. An inspiration. A first love.

Blond haired and blue eyes and skin fair as the morning mist, bringing stinging new and wonderful awakenings, we two learning to kiss, innocent and strange pubescent stumbling desire; making memories forever.

Until the day I walked her home to the expensive hillside cul-de-sac she lived, and her mother wouldn’t let me inside; told me to take my blanket-ass and fuck off back to whatever reservation I escaped from and to never speak to Joanne again; 

Joanne shrugging away my hurt and confusion like dust on a pink sweater; She avoided me at school the rest of the year.

So the penny dropped and rolled around to the back compounding daily interest;

The other day a work colleague got drunk and decided to “tell it like it is” like his hero Donald Trump.

He said, “I hate you! I’ve always hated you. No offense, but your kind makes my skin crawl. You people! You people with your weirdo customs and smelly food. You are all inferior to us. I hate it you shop where I do, drive on my roads, sit in my restaurants. Marry our women. Goddamn darkie bastards! We’re gonna kill you, deport you, imprison you, make you slaves. We are coming for you. Hell yeah, I’m ready. I’m just waitin for the call brother.”

The look on his face is serious, like you see on a man with a sexual fetish.

Not interested in dialogue

Not interested in logic

Not interested in compassion.

It’s war.

A silent war, but a war nonetheless

And the penny drops again with a thud.



©Chuquai Billy 2018

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Material should not be published in another periodical before at least one year has elapsed since publication in Whispering Dialogue. *أن لا يكون النص قد تم نشره في أي صحيفة أو موقع أليكتروني على الأقل (لمدة سنة) من تاريخ النشر. *All content © 2021 Whispering Dialogue or respective authors and publishers, and may not be used elsewhere without written permission. جميع الحقوق محفوظة للناشر الرسمي لدورية (هَمْس الحِوار) Whispering Dialogue ولا يجوز إعادة النشر في أيّة دورية أخرى دون أخذ الإذن من الناشر مع الشكر الجزيل

Leave a Reply