Lately I've been walking with nothing to hold onto,
letting my arms hang from my shoulders like vines,
hoping that somebody will reach out and cling on,
even if only to use me,
to get to their true destination.
Mary’s Mother is from Georgia, her Father from Pennsylvania.
A steelers flag hangs on Mary’s front porch, and every Sunday night in the fall means eating chicken wings while adorned in black and gold.
Mary’s Father has an office.
Inside of it lay a few rusting guitars, but the walls of the room are what truly catch your eye.
The paint itself, a dull muted gray is immaterial when compared to the dozens of plaques that enhance it.
Each frame carries a different piece of Groundhog’s Day memorabilia, many house pictures of Punxsutawney Phil, one is a certificate declaring Mary’s Father an “official Groundhog ambassador”, another an autographed photo from a Groundhog handler.
Mary’s Father claims that Groundhog’s day is America’s second greatest holiday.
Mary’s parents were married at Gobbler's ****.
Punxsutawney Phil attended the wedding.
Mary and her little sister stayed home from school every Groundhog’s day in elementary school, and in middle school they attended but came to school in matching Groundhog hats.
Mary’s kitchen counter has a small black speaker.
Each Sunday morning, Mary’s Father blasts the Polka Party Radio Show hours into the afternoon.
The whole family knows all of the polka songs by heart.
Each Sunday morning they came together to listen to the “Waltz of The Angels”, a Polka special dedicated to various passed loved ones.
Even the turntable in Mary’s dining room only plays Pennsylvania Polka vinyls.
Mary’s incredibly familiar with Hershey Park.
She and her sister have brought home various souvenirs from Pennsylvania’s notorious “Chocolate Town”.
Mary’s family knows Gettysburg like the back of their hand.
I’ve known Mary for over a decade.
I never knew her mother was from Georgia.
“The Southerner’s Handbook” sits in Mary’s living room, the only true mark of Mary’s Mother’s life before she surrendered her maiden name.
I think it is a beautiful thing to give up your culture for somebody else.
I think it is a beautiful thing to sing Pennsylvania Dutch folk music with your Husband on late weekend nights because you know it makes your children happy.
nobody sees me
they don't, i swear
nobody sees me
and nobody cares
One day my fairy godmother asked me,
Do you want to be white?
Do you want to have fair skin and thin easily manipulative hair?
Do you want long legs, legs that look good in jean shorts and skirts?
Do you want the boys to call you pretty?
Do you want to fit in?
Do you want to live in a world where your most commonly asked question isn't "what are you"?
Do you want to go to a school where the administration doesn't think of you as a statistic they need to improve?
Of course, I said yes.
"Make me white" I said.
She said too bad.
Too bad, you're gonna be Hispanic.
You're going to have dark skin that makes your pale scars all the more apparent.
You're going to look different each time you walk into a classroom or onto the school bus.
You're going to hang out with your white friends and forgot you don't fit in, at least until you look into a mirror and you remember.
And remembering is going to haunt you.
You're going to avoid cameras and windows.
Avoid anything that reveals your daunting reflection.
You're not going to be white.
Fairy godmothers aren't real.
All you have is an hada madrina, and what can she do in a whitewashed world?
When I was younger,
Fridays meant putting my bag in our downstairs closet where I wouldn't see it again til Monday morning.
Now that I'm older,
Fridays mean keeping my bag right beside my bed so I will never forget my overwhelming tasks.
"Did you just work very hard for five days? Well of course you did."
"But please, do us a favor...and work some more."
I have a two-week breaking point.
For 14 days I go through the motions: emotionless.
For a fortnight of time, I am indifferent to all things.
Yet on that 15th day I snap, bringing my composure down as well.
On the 15th day, I resort back to a shell of dependency,
hunkering away in isolation with nobody to depend on.
I become a nail made for a wall, but with no wall to go into.
My sole purpose is hopeless and my ambitions crushed.
Some may say I have a two-week expiration date.
There were three floors in my house.
three floors all full of my gratitude.
The first floor.
it held my bedroom.
this floor was hours spent gazing from my window seat,
it was long warm showers in winter-
and making sure I blew out my candle before it could burn down my curtains.
My second floor.
it belongs to my mother.
her kitchen, her T.V, her view of our backyard.
she made her tea here, yelled at the news, and watched my brothers play outside.
her favorite living room carpet that has now become ashes.
Our third floor.
after all, heat rises.
it was my father's basement,
my brother's bedroom,
it's where we watched movies, played boardgames, and shed monopoly's great tears.
now it's all that remains.
We weren't home when the fire happened.
When my candle caught hold of our memories.
Maybe I should have seen it coming.
I was the one who chose the crisp campfire scent.