Saturday, March 12, 2011

the other one


On the ledge of no

edge losing El, the

“the” of father

parts of speech; making


El edges

for yes, aching back

across the si sink

(-ing), o, he no’s

the w“in”g of knowing

is a Kay. As in Oh Kay.

As in Sea.

As in For Sure.

For on the shore

line the trace-edge of “L ’

is a chair

with no legs you might

sit on to get her back

in time

if u were not

a legend

standing, on its edge,

about to let her fly two

some odd place u don’t

even know with only

u(no) wing.

Today I volunteered at a Hispanic church watching the toddlers, one of whom ran out of the room, into the sanctuary, and under the alter table where I had to try to coax him out in a language he may or may not have known, while the church watched on and gave me understanding smiles. Later during dinner, a guy came up behind me and squeezed my shoulders and gave me a kiss on the cheek. When he stepped back, he was obviously embarrassed, and said, "Oh! I'm sorry! I thought you were the other one!" By that, he meant the one other anglo girl, who happened to attend regularly. The whole two hours was incredibly awkward. I didn't know what to say, where to stand, or what was expected of me. I do know this though. Every once and a while it is good to be the "Other" one, and to remember how it feels not to be surrounded by people who know your language or culture. Even in that statement, I show my ethnocentricity. They know my language and culture; it's me that has never made many efforts to know theirs.

I probably won't go back. That's the truth. I didn't feel helpful at all and I didn't make any connections and I'm leaving in a couple months, so it feels like it's not worth the Saturdays or my effort. I don't want to leave you with a falsely beautiful lesson.

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