brown

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
dreaming
for all of us to be loved for
“the content of our character”
and the pure color of our caring

Glodian/oil

Glodian/oil

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

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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
      am:)
      you have the heart of a brown-eyed person😊

      Like

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