Sat, 01/27/2018 - 13:17 -- mannem

Dear Neighbor.

My family isn't from around here.

I did not grow up in these coastal neighborhoods.

It's not like your family.

With your nice dog

and your kind husband

and your quiet sons.

You are always put together. 

White teethed smiles

sparkling necklaces

cashmere sweaters.

My friends' moms all like you.

But when you acknowledge my family

it's to send a patronizing smile our way.

You hate my dog. 

She's old and wanders into your yard when we don't watch her.

I bring her back and you ignore my apologies.

You hate my dog, but you hate my mom more.

It's in the way you don't look at her when she says hello

or when you look down your pretty nose at her if you do.

My mother is blunt

she is real and she is kind.

And she does not put up false pretenses.

We are not like you neighbor. 

My family is small

and healing from a past you know nothing of.

Do not smile down on us with your false kindness.

My family is not from around here, neighbor.

You do not know us. 

This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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