In the Old Country

In the old country I was allowed to be subtle without urgency.

My mother would have smiled as I stole the newspaper from her thin fingers.

Nothing would have mattered since it didn't.

A long trip would have been long enough.


In the old country the kids were alright.

I could have smoked a joint at my father's second wedding.

My acumen would not have needed a boisterous fanfare.

Before would have been just another day.


In the old country I wasn’t just table setting.

I could have known what questions to ask.

I could have said no quite clearly.

I could have been happy enough.

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