Labels

Turn around and stare hard at me
I am standing right here in the back row
I didn’t get here by making a choice
The train left with you - I watched it go

Don’t fear me, hate me, try to isolate me
Don’t condemn, castigate or reprimand me
I am trying my best to understand you
So please try also to understand me

I am not asking that you glorify me
I am not asking that you hype me
All I want is that you see me as I am
All I want is that you don’t stereotype me

Dislike me if I have wronged you
Feel free even to hold a grudge
But just because we happen to disagree 
Don’t be in such a hurry to judge

You haven’t walked the miles I have
You haven’t felt the pebble in my shoe
I am not asking you to share my worldview
Only try to appreciate what I have been through 

Religious, faithless, right-wing, left-wing
All these epithets we so gleefully fling
Unless you’ve carried the burden I tow
None of these labels can mean a damn thing

10 thoughts on “Labels

  1. Ram Josyula

    This poem might as well have been penned by your dad (earlier poem)…the labels I used to paste on my dad when all he was trying to do was to meet ends meet, like me now.

    Like

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