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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