"You have white girl problems."
my neighbor said.
I held up three fingers and told him
to read between the lines.
We laughed being friends
and he's right,
I'm pretty Vanilla.
"I'm depressed." I told my son
who rolled his eyes, grimacing.
"Do you have a roof over your head?
"Yes." I said.
"Food in your stomach?"
"A family that loves and supports you?"
"You bet," I smiled, more proud of him than ashamed of myself.
"You're doing O.K." He said.
and I thought 'Yeah, I've got white girl problems.'
But then I thought about my neighbor of the flavors-
'He's got white girl problems too.'
It struck me.
I've been inside his house,
tasted his cooking,
shared evenings with his family and friends…
I know his words meant the same thing my son's did,
'my problems aren't so bad.'
Maybe he was saying a little more…
I know we were talking in and around stereotypes,
negotiating through histories and actions not of our creating,
with a wink and a toast to us.
Race and America—it causes me to pause.
Yesterday, I hugged a woman who cried,
Poverty didn't care that she was white.