“Exotic” ~ A poem for those who are questioned about what they are ~

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Pic for exotic poemExotic…


What are you?

These are the words that you ask me

Stranger on the street, classmate at school, supervisor at my job

I’m tired of explaining what I am

Why can’t you try and discover who I am

They tell me I am exotic

They also told me when I was young that I was not black, I was not white, I was not Native

I was different, weird…exotic

They called me mixed, mulatto, a zebra

Why is your hair so wild, why is your skin so light, why are your lips so big?

They tell me now that I am exotic

How dare you tell me I am not Black

For the woman that raised me has beautiful brown skin, kinky curls and graceful hands

How dare you tell me I am not White

For the woman who gave birth to my father has clear blue eyes, fair skin and flowing long hair

How dare you tell me I am not Native

For the woman that gave birth to my mother has keen almond shaped eyes and strong cheekbones

You tell me I am exotic

But exotic is foreign to this part of the world

Exotic is intriguing

Exotic is excitingly strange

A young woman who questions my place in this world, my intrigue and my strangeness

Who am I

I am not strange and I am definitely of this world

In fact, I am a mix of all the things that make up this world, both near and far

They will not ask me what I am anymore

They will discover who I am

They will not call me exotic anymore

For I am my Black mother’s daughter, my White grandmother’s grandchild and my Native grandmother’s grandchild

And yes, I have wild hair that matches a wild spirit

Yes, I have light skin that glows similar to my White Grandmother’s

And yes, I have full lips that speak eloquently like my Black mother

I am not exotic

I am a daughter and mother and woman of this world.


 ~ Keri Wilborn