Followed

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This has happened once before. I am minding my own business.

Shopping, browsing,

I have things on my list to cross off.

The first time was earlier, in the summer time

An older teenager or college girl with a great 1940’s pinup figure

But a sour and snide disposition

She had another girl with, that may have been kin.

Around the store they sauntered

New to the country (it’s obvious in the energy vibes)

looking around and being snobbish superior,

while lazily sipping something cold and creamy from the green mermaid place.

I could hear how smoothly they spoke their native language – one that my mom strongly insisted I learn.

Every. Sunday. For a few years in a row.

With other kids of my nationality.

Don’t judge me, but beyond the basics, my math sucks and I was at least a high C average out of high school. :-p

I loved art, though.

It’s that tone of voice as they criticize and judge the innocent bystanders. Sometimes they are even briefly pleasant to those whom they make fun of.

Btw, the snide criticism can be about anything.

Or as it happened in my case, the two girls slowly pass by me and verbally slip in something that I recognize as an insult.

Gee, maybe it was something I did? Maybe I was too direct with my look in their eyes, and then glance away?

Oh wait. I remember. It IS a cultural phenomenon.

I remember my kid years watching and listening to those who were responsible for me, doing the same mean spirited thing.

Then again it happened today (a person can develop a radar for these occurrences).

Something off in the air, some vibes unpleasant behind me. So a quick turn I did take to the next aisle, facing pretty cards and also seeing their faces as they passed.

I saw. She saw. Her guy pal saw.

Silence from her as they walked on – it was she who did the talking anyways.

This snide judging behavior has got to stop.

And yeah, they were raised with the mainland mindset that their culture was supremely on top.

Just like it was >attempted< to be indoctrinated onto me.

But since childhood,

I was not a bully, but the bullied.

Maybe one day those others will learn to be truly kind and open of mind, but I sense it’s not anytime too soon.

From halfway around the world, malice comes walking.

How are we as a species be better beings when

This negativity goes round and round

and generation after generation?

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Bare Feet

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To deal with the heat

On a sunny, hot, humid summer day

Splash and play by a pool

May as well put on some sunblock too

If fair skin tends to turn a cooked crustacean shade

But as I stare out the windows in the

Pleasantly chilled, environmentally controlled atmosphere

I see throughout my work shifts

Many, whose feet are bare as they sit studying or reading

While their shoes are nearby, idly laying.

I wonder if they care or consider

That some time after they leave

Someone else will be using that seat

The self same one used as a personal footstool.

I wonder too

If they realize, just how many

Shoesteps, boot tromps have graced the industrial carpets

All the mud, the dirt, the grime and gloop

and who (doesn’t really want to) know what

– especially walking the furry babies.

Or even walking into someone elses furry babies toilet…after.

Maybe I’m just germ-o-phobic

Although it wasn’t I who got a wart

by walking bare feet

on garage floor and concrete.

Just keep your footwear on

And I will pass on wanting to know

about the surface swab test

and blue light view in the dark.

There are little things I would personally keep outdoors

Instead of tracking them floor to floor.

Inland

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The gulls are calling after the rain

The sky is still overcast

but cloud banks are moving again.

Breezes are welcomed

for their cooling feel

on a humid,

82℉ July day.

Its funny how the lake

is just over an hour’s drive away.

…but in a suburbia parking lot

at half past 5,

the gulls remind me

of being near water side

instead

today.

 

Dishwasher

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It was the 1970’s

The little girl was only in first or second grade

She was supposed to be doing the dishes

By hand

One sink full of suds, plus wash rag

The other sink full of plain water for a dunk rinse

Rinse twice, her mom said.

Translated: empty the sink and refill with fresh water for a second dunk.

But no one was around when the eating was done.

So there was extra soap in the washing area

Because soap bubbles are fun to play with.

Parental supervision?

What’s that?

That’s how you don’t teach a kid to do household chores.

But third grade was spent in a house

Built with an automatic dishwasher to load.

Just to keep gender chores equality

Youngest brother would do them…but when he was graduated from college.

**eye roll of annoyance**

 

Mentoring

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The son had a college degree

A master’s, I believe…

Child psychology was the specialty

He got along with kids pretty well

And helped out with kids assigned to him

that had backgrounds dysfunctional

On a weekend day

Of course this was in the nineties

Before government funding was cut.

Nine to five was daily office work for the graduate

his matched kid and he bonded like older and younger siblings.

The only thing the graduate’s father had to say

To his son, helping out other’s sons was 

“The time you spend with the kids

Instead should be used for hunting for a girlfriend, a future wife.

I want to play with grandchildren before I’m too old to enjoy them”.

The son had heard this line before

Way too many times

It wasn’t going to happen at father’s command though

Grandpa wannabe either didn’t care or conveniently forgot

The dysfunction and conscience malfunctions

he raised his own “useless” children with.

 

Standing pretty

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A coworker that I knew once shared a story with me about old customs.

She herself was born in the land down under.

Her mother came from places of classical history,

where statues were carved in idealized physical beauty.

Perhaps you may have seen statues of Aphrodite?

She told me a story her mother had told her

But the coworker stipulated first that in her nationality, boys were highly preferred

I am too familiar with that biased point of view

That when men went looking for a wife (or maybe it was just to date?), not so long ago

The intended in question was dressed up and made up for the man’s eyes

There would be a meal upon the table for the man to taste to see if he liked her cooking skills

And if the potential suitor should like, she would pose prettily

and spin 180 for his viewing pleasure

before he made a decision.

This was all at her father’s abode.

I suppose this was another form of match making.

I’m not sure how accurate this is

but it was still in the 20th century then.

But at least the she in this poem is happy with her husband,

without that type of matchmaking

and it was mutual.

 

How fresh is the ginger?

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Three hands of ginger did I leave

In a produce baggie, loosely bound

One late summer (or was it autumn?) eve

With intent to make some live culture ferment.

Loosely inspired by Cooper Hawks’ Asian coleslaw flavors

But the days became weeks and weeks became months

For a couple of seasons I forgot about the three hands of zingy flavor

Until one early pre spring equinox March night

I went looking for some glassware and spices to start live culture fermenting again.

There in the basement, dim and chilly

With a window filtering in faint light every day

Three hands randomly sprouted (one through the plastic baggie)

They smelled lively, as ginger would

But there was a faint fragrant whisper of something flowery with it.

Maybe they’ll make it into the garden this year.

I’ve heard the leaves are edible too.