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 making a donation! To receive notices about opportunities for your child, sign up for our youth writing opportunities newsletter.

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