Dad, you warned me that people in this world

in this country specifically

would treat me like trash.

the way you were treated

while learning english and applying for jobs that

you were overqualified for.

spending 30 years on an assembly line

that treated you like the auto parts you

twisted and turned to fit.

you made sure i went to college Dad.

graduate school. learned the nice way to talk to people.

i call you Dad sometimes crying.

sometimes angry.

that work has been hard.

that i should be treated better.

Dad you tell me the same thing you

told me when i was 8

helping you balance your checkbook

checking the receipt from the grocery store

ensuring you didn’t get ripped off.

Dad you tell me then what you tell me now

that people in this world

in this country specifically

would treat me like trash.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.

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