Mother's Day


Second Sunday of May my father brought my brother, mother, and I

to our favorite breakfast place to celebrate the holiday.

I was young, just five years old. My brother two years my elder.

We asked for quarters for the gumball machine.

"Don't spoil your meal," she said leading us to a booth.


All the mothers ate their breakfasts, with children young and old,

Each with the same smile across their faces, knowing they were appreciated.

The owner of the restaurant came in with roses

To honor the mothers who gave him patronage.

They stood in a line, excited to receive their prize.


My mother waited patiently in line for her turn, and her rose

But was greeted with a scowl.

"We don't serve your kind here," he said, withdrawing the hand holding the bouquet.

The waitress bowed her head in shame. Father laughed at the man,

And made us all leave, without the roses or gumballs.


I asked my Father why we had to leave, but he wouldn't say.

He said I'd understand when I was older

That my Mother was different from the others.

You see, my mother was Asian, and the owner was white.

He had grew up in a home hating Japs after the second World War.


My dad said I would understand, but to this day I don't

Understand how a human is different based on the color of their skin.

If the man had asked, he would have found my mother was Filipino.

But the man was blinded by the color of my mother's skin.

He saw in black, white, and yellow.


As a child I colored outside the lines and without care

Whether my grass was green or sky was blue

Or if my mother was black, white, or yellow.

My mother was my mother no matter the color of her skin.

Hate may note distinction, but Love knows no colors.


Guide that inspired this poem: 


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