shadowed pride

Her history casts shadows on her perception, painting her a darker shade of bark than the Aspen trees around her.
She is growing up in a White world,
Looking at White girls with blonde hair and baby blue eyes,
Looking up to guys with pale complexions and White reflections.

She has been alive for five years and only seen similarities when her family meets.
…Only on her Dad’s side where they glow dark like moonlit skies,
Casting midnight shadows upon Her lightness.
She has never…enjoyed…nights but,
She notices the difference between carmel complexions and cocoa covered bodies.

On the other side,
She notices how her hair curls tighter than her baby cousins.
She notices that loving comes in the form of beauty.
Beauty that is handmade and that came in bottles and creams.
She notices she cannot share makeup because it looks
And feels
More like and erasure than a mask.
She begins to mask her differences by straightening her hair everyday before middle school.

13 now,
She’s in between life stages like her skin tone sits on a saturation dial,
Tuning out the hues that color her heavy history.

She does not yet know that Black can be beautiful.
She has not yet been told her Golden skin glistens with the Light of one thousand suns.

She is not charcoaled
Or used.
She was started to lose sense of her past when,
At last,
At 22 she finds harmony.

Black activists raising their fists and she is actually
With it.

It is un-tainting her vision of dark skin wearing beaten fists, badly.
Like how she so badly wanted to scream hate to her fathers boasting chest but couldn’t because she’s had a

With her newly found pride she sees…
Her history is not celebrating
It is her,
Finally owning her own skin.

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