Words, unheard

Don’t know what to say to you
when you tell me about those angry adoptees
and how you had a hard time listening to them
because their words
weren’t what you wanted to hear.

You don’t see the idiocy
in telling me
that you do in fact know more Asians than I do
and from that
you can infer my experience.

You seem to be listening
when I tell you your small child
needs the diverse environment
like the oxygen she breathes
for the life she should live.

You lose my contact information.
I didn’t lose yours.

Because what do I say to you
when you tell me about the
wonderful, healthy environment
your child is now living in
where she can ride horses
and play with big dogs
and be the only non-white person
for three hundred miles.

There may be fresh air.
There is no oxygen.
And I have wasted my breath.
But I need to breathe.


4 thoughts on “Words, unheard

  1. so often I don’t have words to comment after reading here.

    My mom has been telling me the “wonderful story” of her best friend’s daughter, who has just adopted an African American baby. The family, and all their friends and contacts, are white evangelicals in the Midwest. Someone already made racial comments at the baby’s welcome party. I asked my mom if anyone spoke up to check it. No one did. Reading your poem … like I said, don’t have the words.

  2. Wow. That is a wonderful poem!!!!!!

    Of course, the people who really need to read it would be offended when I send it to them. Probably it will not do anything to change them. I may send it to them anyway.

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