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“What sort of person is a paradigm shifter?
  The short answer is simple: an outsider.”
    ~ Joel Arthur Barker, Discovering the Future, Second Ed. chapter 4 (1988)

The family dog didn’t trust her
She was thunderstruck each morning
As she gradually awoke in that basement
In America
To its baleful glances
Animals usually liked her
This must be an aberration
Once she’d be fired
Because in the downstairs basement that was her sleeping quarters alone
The toilet overflowed
She’d move on
To more comfortable conditions

The grandmother didn’t trust her
Stood watching from a window
As the toddler yanked the laundry from the clothesline
Laughing merrily at the grass and dirt stains
Right beside her
As she worked
Though she’d often pampered and indulged him
On this occasion she reached down and delivered a mild slap to his little tushie
He respected the reprimand
Until the mother
Provided with the accusation
Fired her on the spot
For such an act of insufferable violence
This must be an aberration
But she was forced to move on
To a long subway ride toward Brooklyn
Having come down with flu and high fever
Bearing a sign
Designating her as someone who knew little English
And would need help finding the destination
Scrawled at bottom
Where she hoped to find more comfortable conditions

The woman didn’t trust her
Said she did everything slower than the others
Who’d all had no trouble changing a baby and managing an older child at once
And she’d tell all her friends
So they’d never hire her either
If she worked faster
The accusation was that she lacked thoroughness
She’d tell all her friends of that, too
Clearly some folks can never be pleased
And evidently neither can their friends
This must be an aberration
She’d move on
Seeking more comfortable conditions

The father didn’t trust her
Though the kids liked her
Mom sometimes came by to see them
Pregnant by her current beau
Leaving again all cheery
Having handed out a few trinkets
They’d play with until night time
Each slept alone
She was awakened each morning
Gradually to sounds from the kitchen
Of the three-year old grabbing his cereal box from the shelf above the fridge
These Americans sure are do-it-yourselfers
She thought
What sort of woman leaves her babies to a stranger’s care
This must be an aberration
She’d move on
Closer to the school where she’d finish her degree
While he’d say he’d told her so
That he couldn’t trust a Russian woman to stick around any more than an American
Though she’d made no commitments
As his accusation suggested
She held fast to a dream of what would’ve happened
In more comfortable conditions

The wealthy family that took her in might’ve trusted her
But their adult son didn’t
Instead gave her a shove
On account of JJ
Called her nigger lover
An epithet that remains the one thing in our combined history
I have the hardest time forgiving
If that makes us nigger lovers too
Then we reclaim the term
Though at the time
It was surely an aberration
That meant time to move on
To more comfortable conditions

She knew when she met someone who made her feel comfortable
She could trust intuition
And would when it so guided her warm up
Right into his arms
Kiss kiss kiss
Move cozily in
Make a home with him
And stay by his side forever
Why not do all that next minute
What reason would be to wait
Perhaps as many years as his mother had taken to raise him
To learn all about his dark side
That must be an aberration
There’d be time to explore down the years
If ever
For now she had simple trust
That she was guided right

Thanks always returns

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