Crayola and Me, 1958

crayons

Photo credit:  Today I Found Out

I began as Flesh,
But only because it was 1958,
And they didn’t yet understand
A white baby may have a tint
Of Raw Sienna.

No understanding that changing Indian Red
To Chestnut is not only untrue,
But negates a child’s ability to learn
That Indian Red describes a pigment native
To India,
And not the skin of a Native American,

Or for that matter, the ability to learn what it meant to be
Prussian.
Was it easier to change Prussian to Midnight,
Than to teach us the blues of history?

And sixteen new colors were added that year, and
When I turned four I was no longer Flesh,
But Peach.
Peach with still no tint,
And no understanding that Peach is not white,
And I am not white, and I am not Peach.

But colors are sharp,
And when the summer sun shines
On sixty four colors left on Grandma’s porch,
They can run together
and
Permanently
Mingle.

© Marie Elena Good