schmoe

Could it really
be as easy as you
tell me it should be?

to say “who cares!?”
and throw the reservations
and the towel to the
wind and expose that
which they have never
seen and would never
want to see or know?

you, who crossed the
border at thirteen in
search of some kind of
better life

one in which you
wouldn’t have to sneak
off after and before and
after church to kick
a ball around

one in which you
would have to live
carefully lest they
truck you back over
that border

one in which you
would have the opportunity
to make the dough it took
to remove your family
from a land of revolutionaries
and traitors

You are a globe-trotter now,
flown all around the world
to teach kids how to kick that
ball around, and still

they ask you when
you’re going to settle down
and get a “real job”

as if a job you do
joyfully is somehow
less real than one
you do miserably.

I suppose it
isn’t easy at all
to follow your advice,

the words
fall from your lips
simply and with
conviction,

belying the strength,
the courage, the determination
it took to walk those
steps and to keep
walking until you
made it.

I want to tell you
it is not as easy to
say “who cares?!” as
you make it sound,

but I think you
already know
how hard

and how worth it

it is.