Our Mother Tongues Not Quite One: Late night poetry

For a moment,
we were not quite one.
We were…I and you.
We did not use our mother tongues
when we exchanged our “hello”‘s
and “thank you”‘s.
You, wearing your yellow clown costume
with red painted around your foreign lips
that blew into balloons
making children laugh…
Our and your children laugh.

You handed over a balloon,
and I handed over money in your currency.
We exchanged smiles in a moment you’d forget

At least for the moment
when we were not quite one.

We did not use our mother tongues
when we exchanged our “hello”‘s
and “thank you”‘s.
You didn’t discriminate and let
your kind fall in line before me
because I am the “other.”
I didn’t walk away and boycott you,
as I had refrained from buying that yellow
skirt made on land that is soaked
by my people’s blood…and yours?

We did not think of the war that was to come
in a year, and if you had enlisted
and carried firearms.
You, a clown. I, someone wanting to laugh.

We did not use our mother tongues when we exchanged
our “hello”‘s and “thank you”‘s.
For a moment,
we were not quite one.
We were…I and you…
and questions never to be answered,
not in our mother tongues…
not in any language.

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