It’s how I was born.
It’s how I was raised.
Everything about me screams
White superiority, white privilege
Entraps my history
Dig deeper and you will see
me as unique from my family
tree’s roots run deep
fertilized and planted by seas of red.
Red. Red. Crimson. Red.
“Who are you and from where do you hail?”
If you want to truly know
slow down the train in your mind
before you derail.
My blood comes from England, Ireland
and Scotland, too.
John of Stapleford sailed with his son
to encounter a world afresh and anew
“All the super white countries.”
I hang my head and describe to my peers
While they laugh at my paleness,
I smile through my tears.
In college you’d think
I’d have understood by now
that I am made of white ink
that my coloring is that of snow
I was born white, I am white, and I will always be white.
So why is this white girl
sharing poetic prose with those
who experience authentic problems?
But that’s just it.
I contain guilt for the white-washed stain.
I feel guilty for having such guilt
I should be grateful, thankful, and fine.
And I am, that can’t be denied.
But there’s so much to find
beneath the bland color,
a history defined that is
drenched in the dying and crying colors
of people, cultures, and friends.
Volumes of history pieced brilliantly
with vivacious colors of mosaic art
but a thick layer of suffocation was poured at the start
The editors have amply applied
white paint to the pages
now stifling the vibrancy beneath.
As the paint settled, few tenacious streaks
While, overall, we see by lack of color
who edited the pages, who signed the cover.
My life’s story is a page of this big, white book
A story struggling to appear
But this page never seems to change.
It’s the same white story
On the same white page
In the same white book.
But I’ve noticed when the ink
Glides across the persistent veins of color,
My story appears, bright and clear—
I refuse to be the monotony
My story will break through
the surface with bursts of color.
I scrape off the dried clots of paint
Suffocating the life below
And my story comes alive
In a harmonious display
Of color and life.
A story without need or cause of strife.
One that doesn’t suppress or overtake
The masterpiece below, but instead
Makes each brushstroke, each line
Of red, yellow, black, brown, divine.
And when the page is then consumed
With fresh colors, with new hues
Through the chaotic creativity,
Is birthed something unique,
What is brought forth?
Well, it’s me.