Decades of practice
at pariah-like status
in my own family prepared me
for this, the inevitable
where I see the shun coming
double-barrel. How dare
the hippie, the transplant-Yankee
not respect the unspoken
‘we don’t criticize the blue line’
treaty, brokered without my signing
& before my time. It takes a
to shoulder the weight, to slot
a reply sweeter than
‘I won’t shut up. You can die
mad about it.’ from tongue to mind
(as always, I *aim* for kind)….
what catches me
is the shine in your eyes. This
is your blood
naming me ‘hatred’, saying
clearly my eyes see evil in souls
where I know it does not reside.
am good with it. Unsurprised.
for you, is this new? The weight
shifts, sublimating in saline-light.
Becomes a choice
you now get to carry. All
I can do, is apologize.