Friday, May 18, 2012

Browned Offerings

My knees creaked.
I glanced back.
“Don’t look downed,
When you’re climbing up.”
Panting,I hid my smile.
Hand on my heart,
Engaged my core-
Doctor’s advice, Trainer’s device.
(“To protect your joints-
Since you’re resolved
On this course of action,
In spite of, even,
Your knee condition.”
Then their aside!
“It’s a good institution
For International Education
But set in a mountain?
Admire your dedication”.)

Heeding your admonition,
I heaved myself up
Step by hustling, step.
Cajoling you, scolding you
(“Darling wear a hat -
White spots will never do”)
“Your classroom is almost here!
You’ll like it once inside-"
And the clincher-
“It’s non-negotiable!”
You tarried a bit,
But still sociable,
Chatted with me.
“Why do you let baby say
 Gobbles for goggles?”
The smile came out of hiding
“I think it’s cute, let him be,
And don’t you grow up in a hurry”
We reached your classroom
Where a sight greeted me-

Pink appliqué figures
On the blue door
Circles for eyes, triangle for nose
A smile for the mouth
“That’s me,” you said,
“That’s her,”
They averred.
An appliqué yes,
But not like the rest

You looked up at me
Your face glowed- orange and rose.
Sunlight caught- at wispy curls.
Tendrils escaped,
Defied definition.
Your eyes shone,
Dark with emotion.
The blue flecks in your whites
Were for me alone.
Your pearly whites, ridged in maroon,
Showed their glory
Told their story
That you were happy?

“That’s me”, you said
Your eyes glittered.
You smiled.
“I am browned”.

They prepared
Twenty pink drawings
With peachy tones
A solid browned offering
Of you, my own?
To say,
“She is different,
But not abhorrent.
See, we are tolerant”.
Hands on my knees,
I walked down slowly.
Looked back up.

My darling,
When I was Home and painting
I was forever attempting
To get the hues right
It was never easy
I called it skin-color
(I was provincial,
Knew just a billion faces.)
So this mix of shades
That I never got right
Thwarted my ambition
In the fine arts department

It was not just brown my baby
How then, have you been browned?
My feet touched the ground,
I hit the road
The knees throbbed
Elsewhere some more.

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