Pick it up, pick it up said Tommy Greene
after throwing a penny on the floor
I knew not what he meant
but I was soon schooled  

At eleven I discovered someone’s
opinion of me could change
in the time it took to throw
that penny

From not knowing to knowing
what made me different
the one not like the rest  

Set apart for
my hair that would not be straight
my face that did not conform
my eyes so brown not blue
my ancestry  

Eleven the first time I heard it
Dirty Jew, to the ovens with you