The “Invisible” Minority

If I enter a shop
I won’t be helped.
But the salesperson
won’t follow me around
in the store.

I can drive a car
and be yelled at
for being a bad driver
(as expected of my race)
but I won’t get pulled over
for the color of my skin.

For respect,
I have to make money
and dress well (professionally)
and even then,
I am thought of as “Other.”

But if I wear a hoodie,
no police officer will pull
a gun on me
and call me a “Thug.”

I am the silent “model minority.”
Some of us are racist for we have “overcome”
and don’t want to hear “excuses.”
Others see the shades of difference.

Some of us are ashamed of each other.
First and second generations look at each other
like aliens from Venus and Mars.

I might not speak my mother’s tongue
or if I do, I might not speak it
to my son and daughter.

We seek to fade away and become erased.

I put my head in my hands and wonder
at the wisdom of such an impossible feat.

[Fiction] Arctic Full Circle

Arctic

Grandmother in the old country never had an orange, for where she lived it was cold ten months out of the year. She knew the taste of seal blubber and could read the hooves of caribou, calculate the freshness of their crossing by turning her face into the wind; for they carried a musty scent and brought old ice with them. But she had never had an orange. It was her daughter who grew up with oranges, peaches and apples, flown or shipped from places more southern than she ever had traveled, tinned in dripping sauce or dried to crisps. And it was her granddaughter in Florida, who picked tangerines fresh from a veil of leaves, but who never knew the thunder of caribou’s hooves as they pierced the white, white snow.