No Holds Barred Poetry Writing Challenge: Day 1

I haven’t written a poem in quite some time—a few months maybe? Lately, I’ve been suffering from a nasty case of writer’s block when it comes to poetry. So, starting today, I’m going to try to give you guys a new and original poem every day. Some may be long; others may be short. It all depends on how inspired I am and how much I can overcome this writer’s block. This is the real deal, no holds barred, poetry writing slam! Here we go!


All brown children color their drawings.
Mothers, fathers, siblings,
shades of yellow, red, black.
Self-portraits traced with edges of brown crayons;
they know their identities long before
they are taught about race.

What color is my skin?
They ask.
Unique like no other,
different, beautiful,
blacker than the berry,
sweet as the juice.
They document it,
mix different shades of nude on their pallets
wielding artistic instruments—
colored pencils, crayons, markers.
They match their complexions without flaw.
Tiny realists, they are—
never white-washing,
erasing their existence from history.
We are here.

Little brown children see color,
they know theirs,
and are not afraid to show the world.

© 2015 Nortina Simmons


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