"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?
He asked.

"Yes." I said.

"Food in your stomach?"

I nodded.

"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.