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My Precious Ones in the Bronx
Neelima Reddy
United StatesGALLERYCONVERSATION
Miss, I know you look like them but you’re different
Your father? I don’t know, it’s different
You all’ve been living here
Miss, there’s just too many of them comin’ in
Too many


We’ve gots to be more careful now
Us, miss? I’m American but not really
You know
Do I look white to you?
I’m 100% Dominican but I’m from here
I live here
My parents, Miss? They’re the same.
We go to the Dominican but that’s just to visit
Miss, us all belong here
And I’m sorry them people be hatin’ on you
But they be stupid and don’t hear you talk
And don’t know where you’re from
They be dumb ’cuz your face don’t look like you talk
American? Do we look white to you?
I am a Boriqua, and Tara is black, but we belong here
Why do they all keep coming?
This ain’t no playground.
Everyone just keep comin’ all up in here
Like it’s Disney World
I wish I could go tell ’em Osama yo mama and get the
hell out
Those ESL kids, Miss?
Well I guess they’re ok.
I mean, they wear those head things
And other kids be sayin’ some disrespectful shit to them
but they seem okay.
They be real quiet anyway
But you still gotta wonder
Ms. Chowder said that one kid in that class just up
and left
They say he moved to Canada but not really
He really moved back to Pakistan
Him and his whole family be Osama freaks and went
back there for I don’t know what.
And Ms. Chowder even said
So I’m sure it’s true, Miss
And today I said nothing
Because today I am tired
And today is just today
Today
And so it goes and goes.
Miss, let’s skip the lesson today and talk about this
stuff more
We never get to talk as a class, Miss
Miss?
Miss?

***

I want a world where my inner city students see education, not money, as a way out, where they can achieve more than what they see around the corner from their school. I want a world where twelve-year-olds see that living isn’t about throwing punches but simply rolling with the punches. I want a world where my writers will keep writing and never be told to stop.
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