Friday, September 3, 2010

The Color of My Heart

[When I lived in Tofino, it was my privilege to work for eight and a half years among the First Nations people, at a residential program for families dealing with recovery issues. I had the job of my dreams (though it was so much more than a job to me) in the place of my dreams, among such beautiful people.]

Sometimes I hate
the color of my skin,
the skin of the oppressor
who dominates
people of color
all over the world
just because
it is the way
it has always been.

In the warm, brown
smiling faces
of my brothers,
their close-knit clan,
I see
a kinship
I may long to share
but never can.
I admire
the ancient heritage
of other races,
my own disconnected
from so many other
times and other places,
leaving me so outside,
so "other" -
a planetary pilgrim
with no home.

Who made light skin
When I stand before
my sister
I dont see skin.
In the colors of our hearts
we are both kin,
mothers of daughters
all dreaming
the same dream.
I see our
shared humanity
that lies
in the truth
just behind
her eyes
that generations
of pain and struggle
to overcome
have made
so infinitely
sad and wise.

I tell myself
it isnt
my skin
that counts,
but what it is
that's living
in my heart.
Yet my paleness,
I shrink to
links me to generations
of past pain
I may abhor,
yet by my very color
can never really
fully mend.

I'm waiting for
the Rainbow Race
to rise -
transcend the barriers
of separateness,
all the human
we share:
our hearts longing
for love,
eyes seeking
the same skies,
tears scalding
paths of pain
that feel the same.
In love and pain,
hope and despair,
in all the ways we care,
there is no color there.

We all cherish
our children,
long for peace,
stare open-eyed
into the dark of night
with souls
of infinite and varied hue,
asking the eternal questions
that guide each of us
as we stumble
ever closer
to the light.

In the time
of floods and fire
the Rainbow Race
will rise
among the peoples
of the earth
to weave the ties
that could make
this world
truly a Paradise
if we only learn
to look
with clearer and
with much more

And I know
there is
one way
to start
to go beyond
the barriers
of skin -
make bridges
with a smile
and honest eyes
so all can see
the color of
my heart.


  1. I truly do NOT think a lot of children see races. I have firsthand experience with this. I have some grandchildren who are tri-racial and some bi-racial. I consider them the "children of the future." I really do not think they NOTICE differences. This is as it should be!

  2. kids are innocent,
    grownups do care...
    lovely sentiments.

  3. Mary, you are so right. Children are beautiful and have open hearts. I love what you say about your grandkids who are the children of the future. I think that is what I was trying, in my stumbling way, to say: I have a rainbow heart . I believe many people on the planet do these days, as the transformation of consciousness attempts to rise. Jingle, thank you for visiting and commenting.

  4. I too wish we could blur the lines of color and see people! Someday it will be a rainbow race and color won't be seen. I hope, I live long enough to see this~

  5. Wonderfully said, Sherry! I also wish for the day skin colour is just another facet of one's life, like a love of reading, or the ability to carry a more or no less important than a hundred other traits that define us as individuals!

    I really hope I'm around to see that day...:)


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