Melanie Emikohe

The Other Tenant

Poem by Melanie Emikohe

The rumor is sharp, uninhibited.
Mockery in public, against his
tattered sneakers or filthy habits;
but it's actually related to birth.

I've been warned to stay far-off,
status contaminates as we know;
so I decided to be stranger still,
to him who is renting next door.

Must be mean, guilt is beginning,
but for him who heard nothing
of kindness, perhaps that smile,
by instinct? was good enough.

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Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 23, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, February 5, 2011