procreation, 2

i sat to write
about how
my mother
was never given
poetry

but i realize
that i do not know
whether that is true

i have never asked.

the older i get,
the angrier i get
that the education
i received was
laced with the poison of
colonizer culture

i got compliments
on my writing but
i never got a lesson
on how to have
compassion for my
broken English

i was never asked
whether my mother
read or wrote
poetry and
the possibility
never even
occurred to me

i am horrified
to realize that
i’ve spent so much
of my life looking
at my mother like
so many americans look
at immigrants,
carrying a presumption
equating cultural incompetence
with unintelligence,
distilling her life and
history down to that one
horrific experience

how many questions
have i neglected to
ask my mother while
i was busy asking
how best to seem
assimilated?

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