2018 Highline College Poetry Contest Winner

My mother says to me, “Yasmine, can you
please talk to the bank lady on the phone for me?” I always do, but never understand why she asks because to my ears, her English is
perfect. She cuts through
any silence like a knife. She’s sharp, but they call her dull. I’m one whole of two halves and when he and I
speak, they listen, but when she speaks, they turn away. And I know her blood, that it runs through mine and that it’s thousands
and thousands of years of ancestry and tradition and war and family
and famine and survival, diluted down to an accent
they call funny.

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