What Her Weathered Eyes Tell Me – A Poem

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Her weathered eyes tell me she’s seen some things;
Her neatly knitted red hat each stitch each seam;
She speaks not it seems in complex phrases;
She could have been here three decades but to you she’s the same as;
That Chang that Chong, too many Wong’s its wrong;
Like her only place at the table should be slurping Wontons at Hons;
You worry about your own backyard, call her the product of an invasion;
You paint her with the same brush, like all calligraphy must be Asian;
She wants nothing more than to say hello and have you smile back:
She tired of you saying go home, like she’s a pre-1960’s black;
Her wrinkled hands washing white rice, but to you it’s crack;
But she ain’t going nowhere, homie I’mma assure you of that.

Cause her nose has smelled the burning of bodies on the street;
She’s been through so many medical treatments, she’s immune to all disease;
She knows the games you playing when you raise up all your fees;
She’s dealt with enough shit, from fleas to trynna flee;
She doesn’t need you debating whether she still a refugee;
All she needs is you to tell her that her presence fills a need;
That her picking up your cans, truly helping clean our streets;

You might never know her name, but her story can’t be washed away;
She’ll wake up every morning, cause every morning it’s the same;
Maybe for a minute stop and say how goes your day;
Cause tomorrow when she doesn’t show up for work, you’ll be regretting what you didn’t say.

“You are my family. Thank you.”

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