I think i was 11

i think i was 11 when a stranger first asked where i hid my money

it was a cold winter day

you could see your breath sway and stay as the snow flew your way

i glanced back at his face

the one who judged me before knowing my name

the one who saw a star of david on my necklaces chain

the one who instantly felt a spreading of disdain

he opened his lips again

where do you hide your money, i said

id never heard this legend, this lie

where did it come from

at the time

both my parents were unemployed

thier wallets reminisent of an n empty void

financial aid my best friend, and same for goodwill toys

why did he think i was rich

i thought it was the way i carried myself

maybe my politeness or my white skin

showed privlige 

or that he thought my bubbees wrist was covered in dollar signs not numbers and digits

but later when i looked up that scentence, it all seemed clear

i believe i was 11 when i first lost hope

it was a cold winters eve

you could see the frostbite edge its way onto your sleeve

as you grieved due to notitions preconsieved

by the uneducated or ill-informed

it was when i learned of the fable

of jews havimg money hidden underneath thier long maxi skirts or in suit pockets

of stolen goods hidden in thier little star lockets

i reached down for my star of david chain

and threw it across my bedroom

i believe i was 11 when i first regretted who i was

it was a cold winter midnight

you could see the coldness of the weather match the coldness of his face

id grown up religous and having my faith known

where you lived by the torah, and you made god your home

but if by walking around carrying this life on my shoulders

impaired peoples opinions on me 

how could i continue

i believe i was 12 when i forgave him

its not his fault he thought i had money

hidden under layers just like my hopes and dreams

its not his fault

he believes

in quickly created lies

by those who despise my kind

kindness is my answer

so i forgive you

i believe it was 3 days before yom kippur

when the coldness subsided

and i stood with my necklace proudly on my collaarbone

and i stood with my beliefs showing for all to see

i am not ashamed of who i am

because fables, lies, and legends

dont define one thing



This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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