Not Just Whistling

I am willing to bet you have used the words
without even thinking where they come from,
without even thinking there is a question
about where they come from
that you should be thinking about:
“I’m not just whistling Dixie.”

And if you’re not just whistling Dixie
what, precisely, have you been doing?

Yes, that is how deep the racist culture goes:
Even you do not stop to think
what this expression means
before you use it.

How about: “Keep your cotton-pickin’ hands off my . . . “
Tell me: Just what, precisely, is wrong
with “cotton-pickin’ hands”?

As for me, therefore,
I will keep searching for those
who are not just whistling
“John Brown’s Body.”

Steve Bloom
July 2013