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,
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
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
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