Sunday, January 29, 2017

day TEN


Look at all her pins,
she says, pointing at my shoulder bag
assuming there is music
in my headphones
during this long ride home
from another tiring Tuesday.

Look at all her pins,
she says, showing her teenage
daughter who sighs and goes
back to her phone.

Look at all her pins,
she says, now going one by one
as her husband gets up again
to check the subway map
muttering to himself.

When she gets to the Dump Trump 2016
one she frowns and says
Well that’s disrespectful.
That’s just terrible.
That shouldn’t be allowed.

She clicks her tongue and shakes her head
feeling brave now because she thinks I can’t
hear or maybe because she thinks she’s right

Because it’s her man coming into the White House
because emails
because birth certificates
because hate makes America great

because I don’t understand why people who hate
everything my city stands for insist on coming here.

Disrespectful, she says
All Lives Matter

and it’s then, as those words come out of her mouth
as the train doors closed
and we rumble down the tracks
as her husband checks the map again
saying just a few more stops,
wondering why they haven’t gone over the bridge
that I decide

not to tell them
they’re headed toward Coney Island
not Manhattan.

                      --Ally Malinenko

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