Poetry

The War at Home

 

My mother hated you

And I watched her hate you for years

You with your refugee status,

Your government subsidies to buy a car,

And go to school.

She hated your crooked teeth,

High cheekbones,

And the way your bony brown toes

Held tight to the rubber sole of your flip flops

In the middle of December.

I watched you,

Admiring the way you squatted in the dirt

On slim hips that balanced perfectly,

Plucking gingerly at dead leaves.

But mother scoffed,

“They shit in their own garden,

Use it for fertilizer!”

But they love their children

I thought.

And they smile at me with their crooked teeth

Offering up strange foreign vegetables,

That I accept and secretly throw away.

Years later the children of the old man

With crooked teeth

Smile

And offer up strange vegetables

In a simmering, savory broth

As I sit quietly in the corner booth of an old café,

Plucking gingerly at sprigs of basil.

 

 

copyright 2017 caceresbg

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