The Greencard’s Kid


Max Ostrozhinskiy


My sister and I talked funny, hard t’s and wrong vowel
sounds for American
English, an invisible multiculturality.
We learned to turn pronunciation on and off. Too young

to understand whispers job-takers, intruders, or why
our mom worked
part-time, took side jobs, or stayed
at home. Job-taker: hilarious as her education was not

recognized in the US. Each job search followed the pattern
of kind words, so-nice-to-meet-you, then
the checked box—Thank you for your time. Later,

I understood how little because something doesn’t happen
in front of you,
doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen
is believed.
My guilty confession: I let people rail against greencards.

I let them run the reel full out before I offer, So. You’re talking
about my mom
. Some days, I wish I was nicer about it. (Not.)


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