Cracked Mirror

Cracked Mirror

On the day the glass shattered
I was weeping for my friend
who had just died of AIDS
and the sky was dark and gray with smog

On the day that the glass shattered between us
my Asian daughter whom I adopted
whom my heart loves so entirely
My daughter
came to me saying that a man had yelled at her
for creating the virus
and he had screamed
that he hated her type
and she should go back to her country

On that day with the glass
there were distant dogs howling but
birds had ceased their chirping and stayed

In their nests sensing the impending storm
squirrels huddled on tree branches to wait
and to see

That day was the last time we talked.

That day you tried to justify your hate
You told me about the skin colors you look down upon
That day you yelled at me

About how you lived through it and that you knew
more than me because you did live through it

That day you yelled at me
angry that I dare cite merits of the Civil Rights Act
That day was the day that the mirror broke
That day I heard the shattered shards crashing to the floor
skittering in all directions seeking to harm someone
like you do with your careless words
of superiority and entitlement

That day when the glass shattered
around you and between us

for forever
That day when there was howling
and no chirping and
the squirrels were awaiting storm

That day is the day
I ceased
to see myself in you