"One day you'll wake up dead...
Where do you wanna be when that happens?"
Today I woke up dead.
Just like that. It was over and done.
It didn't matter if I was white or black, yellow or red.
It didn't matter how fat I was, how skinny, how thin.
My beauty didn't matter, it had been washed away.
I wasn't even that pretty, anyway.
Oh sure, in life, maybe my body had been...
But now that I'm dead, I must pay the price of my sins.
Sure, I'd done some good stuff, like anyone did.
I had some manners, I sometimes watched what I said.
I didn't really steal, and I would never commit murder.
I didn't always lie, but then again I always did.
I never cheated on my spouse, I knew that was bad.
I tried not to covet, though I already had everything they had.
I rallied for my race, thinking it was so important.
I said other's looked down on me, saw me as scum.
I said they judged me before they even knew me.
It was a lie; they didn't, I did.
Death teaches you what's really important, and it isn't your skin.
When my friends did drugs, I just went along.
I could've stopped a rape, but I just let it go on.
I could've helped a stranded woman, but I just looked the other way.
I didn't have to cut her off in traffic, I could've found another way.
I didn't have to drink so much, I didn't have to yell like I did.
I didn't have to blame my problems on her, didn't have to force myself on him.
I didn't have to spread that rumor, I didn't have to complain about them.
I didn't have to fight, to riot; there were peaceful ways...
But I did, and I'm stuck like this, forever, for always.
Every little thing... the cruel words, the hate.
It was all here, all weighing me down, a chain around my soul.
Preventing me from ever getting through Heaven's gates.
It's all written down, everything I ever did, everything I ever said.
Nothing else matters, because today I woke up dead.
© Elizabeth White 2008
A Selection of Questions and Answers
2 months ago