(Photo: Henry Jackson)

It was around 9:55 a.m. I was waiting for the library to open.

I saw a cute Ethiopian girl coming toward me. She had dark brown skin, short hair, and a pretty baby face.

“What time is it?” She asked me. Her English accent was very good.

“Five to ten,” I said.

“Oh, five minutes more,” she said, and she stood beside me.

“You know, you have a familiar face. By the way, what is your name?” I asked.

“My name is Queen,” she replied.

“My name is King,” I said with a smile.

“You are kidding! What is your real name?” she asked.

“My name is Michael, and my friends call me Micky. So where are you from, anyway?” I asked.

“Here,” she said.

“No, I mean not where you live, but where did you come from?” I asked.

“Does it really matter where I am from?”

“Sorry. Do you speak Amharic?” I asked her.

“What are you talking about?” she said in scorn.

Then I realized my thinking was wrong, She was African American.

“Oh, my mistake,” I said with broken sound.

“Excuse me, I want to go,” she said, and she went inside the library.

I followed her in slowly.


Michael Teffera is originally from Ethiopia and moved to Saint Paul on August 31, 2006. He graduated from Metro State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is currently working at U.S. Bank as an accounting specialist. His hobbies include bike riding, writing short stories and poems, and watching movies.

Posted in: Poetry