A poem by Phoebe Maurer,
A light skinned African American woman looking in a mirror
They wonder who I am.
My eyes are averted
to confuse and bemuse
their preconceived analysis.
My mirror image often
escapes and confuses me.
The mouth is full and sensuous,
velvety brown eyes shaded by full brows.
Do I really care what others think?
Of course, it explains the untold hours
spent having my coarse black African
hair corn-rowed ending with jewels.
Look at me, please, into me,
my soul, my mind, my psyche.
Yes, I’m not white or dark brown,
yet the palms of my hands are white.
I look into the depths of my past,
my pupils enlarge and the iris pure
white. Was it my great-great grandmother
who was impregnated with her owner's genes?
We were no longer pure African, but
never accepted as equals, until we
were emancipated by a war. And not
even then. It took decades.
A man of vision, a short towering giant
led people of all races, creeds and
religions to march peacefully
for peace and a chance to be equal.
He had a dream of a better
world to live in, but his dreams
had to overcome blind ignorant hatred
that killed, jailed and dispersed with venom.
My eyes are no longer averted.
They are staring into the future,
imagining and praying for a time
when peace, kindness, understanding and
acceptance will be our children’s future.
Will it ever be a reality?