Crayola and Me, 1958
by Marie Elena
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
And not the skin of a Native American,
Or for that matter, the ability to learn what it meant to be
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,
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
© Marie Elena Good
Oh so much to ponder in this – I’ll never look at crayons in the same way again.
Thank you so much, Candy!