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We're Just Brown

Grandma’s brown knuckles crinkled 
As she gently peeled the heirloom 
Potatoes, discarding the brown-
Skinned strips into the garbage
Bin. She was at home here, alive 
And aloud, tastes and scents mingling 

In the air like wispy fairies in Neverland, mingling 
With the mauve, sun-kissed raisins lying crinkled 
On slices of butter-brown toast. She is alive 
Here, sheltered by the pots and pans, heirlooms
from her mother Wilma, who once was the garbage 
Lady, the help, for a white family uptown. Wilma's brown 

Skin was the softest variety of brown, 
Likened to silky mocha-hued beads mingling 
With glints of the golden hour. Garbage, 
However, was her epithet. She was crinkled 
Black plastic to that white family. Her heirloom 
was the oppressive garrote of Jimmy Crow — alive 

And well in the hearts of many, still alive 
Today in the gashes and slashes brown 
Men, women, and children still absorb, heirlooms 
from a past infected with rankling vehemence mingling 
With entitled gall. Wilma's old hands were dry-crinkled, 
Just like her daughter, who now throws the skin in the garbage, 

Who marched hard to not be viewed as garbage, 
Who plans to keep Wilma’s soulful memory alive, 
Who cooks until her freckle-speckled hands are crinkled, 
Who is loud and proud to be her shade of brown, 
Who gets straight to business and foregoes the mingling, 
Who works so her progeny can be have the proudest heirloom: 

Pride. Pride in those gently-knotted heirloom 
locks, pride in the skin that was once garbage, 
Pride, pride, pride. Her ever-beating heart mingles 
With the cosmos — she is a celestial being, alive 
In the splendor of black joy. She also likes her toast brown 
And her sun-kissed raisins ever-so-crinkled. 

And while her heirloom knuckles stay tightly crinkled, 
Her heart will mingle with stars and keep the love alive, 
Because she — we — will never be garbage again. We’re just brown. 

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 2/6/2018 5:19:00 AM
This is a great write Zachary..
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