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"And You?"

"And You?"
a poem by Feileen Li

“They hate us,” my father says.

“Is that so?” I reply.

He grows quiet,

confusion threading his aging face.

“They’re scared of us,”

I say lightly.

It’s not much better,

but “ ‘hate’ ” is a strong word.

“They hate us.”

“They’re scared of us.,

and t They don't want to admit that it’s their fault

that people are still dying, suffering.”

I explain, my voice steady,


“They hate us

for something we didn’t do.”

My father continues

in his weary tone,

“Do you?”

“Do I?”

He flicks his gaze up at me,

crow’s feet caressing his the edges of his droopy eyes,

“Do you hate them?”


I reply, my voice calmer stiller than water.

“And you?”

“And I?”

I stare into his eyes.

“Do you hate them?”

He stares back at me,

shadows cloaking the edges of his irises.

“We don’t live long,” he says.

I hum, “No, we don’t.”

“Why spend our time it on hating someone?”

I open and close my mouth.

Words stuck in my throat

at the sight of a face worn with time.

“We don’t live long,” I repeat.

“No., Nno, we don’t.”

“Hate is a strong word.”

“It is, isn’t it?”

“I’m,-” I pause,

tasting the words on my tongue.,

“I’m angry at them,” I say quietly.

“Aren’t you?”

“Not angry,” he whispers.

“Just tired.”

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