For the times I laughed

More times I have cried.

Put on a coat.
You’ll catch a cold.
You can’t go around saying things like that.
I wish you wouldn’t go.

You worry too much.
Don’t be ridiculous.
It’s only some friends.
Don’t worry.

My mother would never say no.
Just “I wish you wouldn’t go.”
My father:  “G-d damnit!”

You worry too much.
Don’t be ridiculous.
Laughing over my shoulder.
The privilege of youth.

A catch in my throat
When I realize my parents
Had their own Emmett Till
Malcolm X, Vincent Chin,
Oscar Grant, Luis Ramirez.

The list goes on and on.

Knowing they’ve felt the clutch of fear
Called on the phone
Are you there?
Are you safe?

You can’t go around saying things like that.
But I could never stop you, could I?

Pride and pain.

For the times I laughed.

One thought on “For the times I laughed

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