SAME NAME, DIFFERENT PLANETS
When you were small, I was your father’s bud;
We hung out all the time. I was around
More than your relatives. You knew the sound
Of my voice on the phone. I was not blood;
You never called me “uncle,” but I would
Bring gifts for you. Monster movies, I found,
Held you rapt all afternoon; you rewound
“the good parts” to watch them again. You could
be quite funny, sometimes. One day, watching
“Nosferatu,” you told company it
dated “from before people could speak.”
Now that you’re grown, your Dad reports the sting
He felt when you called me a “fag” at sit-
Down dinner, when my name came up – a leak
Of your new attitudes. You always knew
My story. I was never anything
But friend to you. But you’ve revised your view
Across great distance, not based on remembering.
Your family moved down South in your teens.
Your Dad and I remained in touch by phone.
Amazing how a young man’s life careens
Through changes when he separates from home.
I wonder what you’d call me to my face.
You claim to be above hate based on race.
I know that my behavior’s not to blame.
Ironic -- we still share the same first name.
-- © 2009 by Jack Veasey
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