Peanut Butter with Chocolate

children

 

Fourth grade, 1954,

Before “black is beautiful”

My friend, a little boy

Walks me home from school.

At nine I know my colors

In four languages

Black is not brown

Brown is dark rich and glows

In the Arizona sun.

A color you are born with

A color one cannot achieve

No matter…

How long one stays outside in the pool.

The sun can only color me peanut butter

But Henry is already chocolate.

He is born that way

And he is my friend.

Friends don’t come easy in a refugee camp,

Or to a new immigrant in a foreign land

Though they come much easier

in a public school in Phoenix.

So when a friend is threatened or bullied

A girl must stand up and protect that friend

No matter the danger.

Standing guard in front of the girl’s bathroom

Where I told Henry to hide

While I became a 3 ft high Golda Meir

Arms folded, a vicious snarl on my face,

Pretend rage in my eyes.

I told those bullies what was what and to

Never bother my friend again

Ever…

Or they would face a wrath worse than the principal’s

or the Phoenix Police Department.

And I was scary, just ask my brothers.

Any wonder when my son fills out applications

that stupidly ask “What race are you?”

He always answers “human.”

Any wonder why in 2015,

the South is still arguing over

a Confederate Flag

hanging on a government building

in the United States of America.

All rights reserved. ©2015 by Sara Fryd

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