I. Constantly Embellish

They say I was born with
too many words in the mouth.

The doctors were unsure
how this happened in utero,

and their only suggestion
was to raise me in silence.

II. Learn Gratitude

Confused during the holidays,

at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners,
I was convinced it was actually Halloween,

I borrowed a costume called gratitude.
and pretended to be something I wasn’t.

III. Appreciate the Unspoken

We did not speak of national debt
at the dinner table.

We did not speak of politics,
of the floods that destroyed
many trailer homes in rural towns

or of any other acts of God
or of religion, or of faith.

We did not speak of her second
underage pregnancy, the father’s identity,
or about how she plans to pay for bibs.

We did not speak to her.
We did not speak.

IV. Embrace Your Roots

My autobiography would be titled:
The Worst Day in the History of My Life

and have a picture of my family
on the cover.

Tufik Shayeb’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including Potomac Review, Sheepshead Review, The Menteur, Lost Lake Folk Opera, Madcap Review, Heyday Magazine, Blinders Journal, Muzzle Magazine, and others. To date, he has published three chapbooks and one book titled, I’ll Love You to Smithereens. Currently, Shayeb resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

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