It's just poetry, it won't bite


08.05.14 Posted in today's words by

Kerri Simons’ poem Mr (finally) Right appeared here in March 2014.

By Kerri Simons

According to Crayola, I’m somewhere between
apricot and desert sand.
But they never have a check box for that.

I don’t remember a time when the color
of someone’s skin helped me decide who
they were, but I know that, at one time, it did.

(I’m admitting that for the first time.
It’s funny how seeing letters on a paper
paint your shame somehow simultaneously
releases it.)

It was a Midwestern autumn afternoon. Outside my [4:00]
“Introduction to Spanish American Literature” course
the setting sun begged me to appreciate it.

(And since I didn’t particularly enjoy the professor,
and surely hadn’t read the required material,
I was a touch past tempted.)

Reading ahead (as in read what I was supposed
to have already read and analyzed) about Cuban
revolutionary Jose Marti, I found It.

I read It again.
I underlined It.
I read It again.

I put my pencil down in humiliation,
embarrassed because I was incapable
of coming to this conclusion on my own,
ashamed of humanity because more than 100 years
after it was written, the idea had yet to make a difference,
sad because people were (are) still being hurt, but
empowered because I was conscious of enlightenment.

No hay odio de razas porque no hay razas.

People say “well, it’s human nature to fear the unknown.”

That’s true.

But we have twisted that idea into a justification for hatred
and prejudice instead of embracing it as the basis for acceptance,
the foundation of tolerance.

from burnt sienna
to antique brass,
from shadow
to banana mania,
are the same.
We are all people.

No hay odio de razas porque no hay razas.
We cannot indulge hatred amongst races because there are no races.

Solamente hay personas.
There are only people.


2 Responses to “Crayons”

  1. Lone Star Ma says:

    Lovely. Reminds me of the “people colors” (or multicultural crayons) that Crayola and Lakeshore Learning make so kids can color everyone.

  2. Sharon Poch says:

    Kerri, you color the world with wisdom and humanity . . .

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