christmas card

i was helping

a vietnamese girl

doing my nails

write a christmas card

to her boyfriend


when she entered


an old woman

with wide glasses


“speak english”

came the cold sneer of command

“you people”

she muttered

when asked to pick a colour

“i can’t understand you”

she answered

when she was asked

“how are you?”


she spoke

like these vietnamese women

were deaf


she spoke

down to them

as if they were dogs


but this girl

(the one i was writing the christmas card for)

she had laughter

that sounded like bubbles


and i knew

she’d be alright


but don’t you ever

tell me

that it’s

‘just how it was’

for that old woman


because it costs nothing

to be kind

it costs nothing


merry christmas

happy new year

let’s see each other soon



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