Poem: In my skin

She told me with shaky voice about OUR choice
wisdom-filled grey hair drooping to the floor,
no less, no more…
God tried three times before He got it right

White people were underdone, rare in a sense, and if you will
Black people, were overcooked, left in the oven a bit too long
Mexicans, with smooth brown glowing skin, came out just right
It came out just like that at the end of the night,
what she said made me smile

Now, we’re here with time to kill, for awhile
deciding, yes, to chew on the bitter thrill
we’re here for the ride, high and low tide,
Keeping my eyes peeled for what’s on the inside
which by the way is utterly classified

I thought grandma rude, but I felt proud,
nothing for or against anyone, yet I thought it out loud
It was the first time I felt good about being me
about how ‘they’ should just leave me alone for being me!

when I didn’t wish I was like the others
when my friend’s pretty blonde sister called me the N word
when I never raised my hand in class
when I was afraid of my own voice
when I hated what looked back in the mirror
still I combed my hair

when it didn’t matter if I took up the cruel world’s fight
crying life ain’t fair

like the song says, this kid was alright

fifty years later, today,
has it gotten worse or greater?

In the end, when this life is over,
It won’t matter because I’m no hater

my skin, like my brother’s,
looks and feels like the dirt from where we came, you know, the clay

dissolved to nothing, having lived a life looking the other way,
pretending, defending, our skin torn and hurt, yet unbending
despite a different name,
despite fortune or fame,
despite our flimsy claim

yet, unmolded, outside this fragile sheath,
a drab worn-out meat suit,
I’m a young buckaroo old coot knowing…

we’re all the same

Published by: frankmarquezwritings

I'm a writer, and have been for most of my adult life. Without making this sound like a resume, I wrote creatively in college, dabbling in poetry, short stories and play writing. Later, I became a journalist, public affairs specialist, copy editor and eventually a guy who ran his own newspaper. Now, I'm back to letting my imagination run wild in some new creations including a science-fiction novel. Somehow, I also managed to teach English to high school kids, and roam the battlefields of Afghanistan as a field historian. Field historian may be a misnomer considering all I did was write abstracts summarizing military unit profiles and missions that included hundreds of interviews of troops and contractors in combat. I grew up in a small town called Gering, Nebraska, before escaping to Pomona, California, where I spent my last two years of high school, graduating from Ganesha High School in 1983. I have a Bachelors in English from the University of La Verne (1987), and a Masters in Education from UNLV (2007). In between, I worked for government - the Army and TSA. I served tours in Panama, D.C., and Tokyo, all thanks to a teacher who encouraged me to see the world before I settled down. As hobbies, I run, hike and bicycle long distances. I have also been known to surf and ski. I now live in my hometown after moving back in June 2015. I get to see family on a regular basis, breath fresh air, and not have to ride the D.C. metro or get stuck in traffic. In fact, I ride my bicycle whenever I can. I'm happily married to my wife Lisa, and we watch over a pack of fur babies, our dog Charley, and three cats Spike, Bootsy, and Franky (his shelter name). If you should ever visit me in west Nebraska, be prepared to feast your eyes on paradise.

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