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Aug 20
straight, good posture
white and abrasive as baking soda
thrifty, ideal of motherhood
hosting new years parties and other
get-togethers for the kids while sipping,
socially, of course, a margarita,
she buys her children, ruddy-nosed
devils, gifts while their friends stand with empty hands,
letting those other kids,
kids with empty pockets,
sit to the side,
and know their place.

another mother she
drives thirty miles to pick up a daughter’s friend,
male, lanky, and for cops
the wrong color at midnight
from a gas station in the wrong part of town
which is really just code
for poor and less white
and she takes him home to
sleep on the sofa
gives him hot tea
and in the morning pancakes with eggs
she doesn’t ask about the bruises
on his forearms or his heart
she just feeds him and drives him
to the library with a sandwich in old Tupperware
he doesn’t need to return
although he does with a thank-you note
and gratitude in his heart,
despite all the bitterness around him.
Kelsey Banerjee
Written by
Kelsey Banerjee  27/F
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