By Toniann Quick

Left out and different

I was always the “dark one”

When I would visit my mom’s side

They would make jokes

“Aw, look at your little black girl”

“I wonder what you would look like white”

I stood out like a sore thumb with family, in school

Left alone, lonely

Nobody understood the real me

The mixed me

I love my mom and dad, but when will they get me

Who I am

Who I want to be

Yes, I am “mixed”

Yes, I am a “mixed breed” as some say

I will continue to say it and flaunt it

Like a sea lion showing off his new trick

When asked what I am

I’ll say

a person

a human

a girl

and from there,

my darkness will shine as bright as the sun

The “Dark One” was published in Listening to the Trees, a collection of social justice poems with students from the High School of Fashion Industries in 2016. Help support the unique voices of our young authors by sharing their stories and ! To receive notices about opportunities for your child, for our youth writing opportunities newsletter.