My daughter’s skin is like cinnamon.
She’s got Bangkok black hair and a Navajo nose
that compliments her full African American lips.
She is the epitome of beauty.
I hope she never has to hear that,
“One drop of this makes you that,”
but if she does, I hope she smiles and says,
“Yeah, I got a drop of this and that.”
I wish that everyone could see
the invisible lines that connect us
but most people call those lines boarders.
So, If she ever has to hear, “Go back where you came from girl,”
I hope she remembers that where she comes from,
Is drops of sweat off of her great-great grandfather’s forehead
as he picked cotton in Georgia.
She comes from the Trail of Tears her ancestors wept
as they were forced to walk barefoot out of Florida.
She comes from the drops of blood her grandmother shed
after traveling all the way from Bangkok, just to give birth to her father
on American soil. She comes from the seeds my great grandfather
carried across the Atlantic so that his family wouldn’t starve to death
like back in Ireland.
I hope she never looks racism in its ugly eye
but if she does, I hope she recognizes it.
I hope she throws her shoulders back and says,
“I am an American, this is where I belong,”
because this was Indian land built using slave blood
and European dreams.
When she looks around her, she’ll see Bangkok black hair
and Navajo noses, kiss with her full African American lips and
love with her human heart.
She will never see people the way her ancestors did.
But instead, find one drop of herself in everyone she meets
because she is a multiracial goddess with skin
Katie Rendon Kahn
4 thoughts on “One Drop”
This is such a beautiful tribute to her daughter and to America, and to the people who built it. This is how all Americans should view ourselves, even those of us who are not “mixed”. We are all Americans and should cherish each other and each other’s backgrounds. Glenn in the Bronx, NY.
I pray we can move to America as it is a best home for mixed families.
Standing ovation. This is so beautiful and moving, Ms. Kahn.
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