my eyes are brown, did you know
mud-weary at this point and still brown
brown like the polyester pants I wore as a child
brown like the earth
honest and foot-affirming
when my large brown eyes were bigger than my little face
I learned to aim high for the heavens and shoot purposefully for the stars
sky-colored eyes and sunshine hair made perfect sense 
perfect sense
every time I gazed in the mirror I wondered
do they know I’m aiming and shooting for things beyond my reach
with brown eyes and brown hair and brown polyester
I am not Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella
damn these wrong colors
blue eyes I do not possess
plastic eyes in ocean colors, sold by the gross, shipped on palettes
will be fitted into gorgeous dolls with sunshine hair
it doesn’t matter to a brown-eyed face that ocean eyeballs are synthetic
in her little mind, these things are more real than her own tiny heartbeat
and so the brown-eyed child grows up
for all of us to be loved for
“the content of our character”
and the pure color of our caring



MLK’s actual quote, “…by the content of their character.” (not our) – thank you

As a brown-eyed child growing up, I often felt this way


8 thoughts on “brown

  1. Wunderbar poem & art, AM — and oh so true. This reminds me of that experiment some teacher did way back when, using eye color to “sort” children and then to teach a lesson about prejudice. As a blonde, blue-eyed member of society I’m ashamed to say that I have often taken this superficial but highly divisive trait for granted. As a child, I never even gave a second thought to dolls (actually, I never wanted them, preferred stuffed animals) and their eye/hair color, to the fact that most of them looked like me. Ah, such privilege. Your line “the pure color of our caring” so wonderfully/perfectly makes the case for inclusion and diversity. Yes, and yes. DS

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you, DS
      whenever I think back on my childhood – I don’t think back in emotion, I think back in color and all I ever can see is this looming cast of brown – I had intended something quite different for this piece but as I wrote it – double-meanings became clear
      thank you for your words here
      you have the heart of a brown-eyed person😊


A paintbrush for your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.