By Giada Nizzoli
I’m an uncomfortable daughter and relative
to have at a big family dinner:
I no longer keep quiet when they spoon-feed me
N-bombs, patriarchy anthems, and homophobic comments.
Don’t get me wrong: I won’t argue
against improbable pizza toppings,
films, songs, and the best dog breed
of all time, even though I might
have a different opinion from theirs.
But I won’t smile and nod
if everyone believes in microchips
inside a vaccine, that climate change
is a hoax, and refugees shouldn’t
be helped as they die at sea.
Smiling and nodding is enabling,
and keeping quiet is agreeing.
Perhaps I won’t change anyone’s mind
with my numbers, facts, and empathy,
but they’ll know there are consequences
when such things are said out loud.
So, I guess that makes me
an uncomfortable daughter and relative
to have at a big family dinner.
Or, maybe, they’re disappointed because
they expected a ragdoll in my place.
A quiet one.
Not even a puppet with pre-recorded sounds:
they’d rather not take any risks.
Giada is a freelance writer and poet based in Chester. Her work has been published in The London Magazine and The Pangolin Review, and she won the WriteUp Short Story Competition in 2018. She published her debut poetry collection (Will-o’-the-Wisps) in 2020, and shares her poems with a loyal Instagram community @giada_writes on a regular basis, as well as on other social media platforms.