Children of My Own

Children of My Own

A Poem by Marie Starr

I wasn't allowed to date outside

my race when I was young.

 

My mother believed it was okay,

admirable even, to have friends

who were not white but that

you wouldn't want to

marry them.

 

And if you did, you shouldn't have

children with them because then

your children would be

discriminated against.

 

As if this attitude wasn't feeding into

the very paradigm in which they

would be discriminated

against; as if it would

be some kind of

mistake

 

to have our children be darker

when we spent all this time

becoming white.

 

It was okay with her, I guess, when my

daughter was born because she looked

like she could be white.

 

You can't tell she's colored if you don't

see her feet, she said. As if I should

count my blessings; as if passing

were an option I should

encourage her to take

advantage of.

 

My mother never dwelled on our Seneca

roots, on our Cherokee roots. It was

better to just be Irish; to just be

immigrants who came here

after it was colonized.

 

After all the distinctions of tribes, of

cultures, of vast and various

histories and traditions

had been deposited

into one large

burial pit

 

and labeled Indian, labeled

savage, labeled past.

 

I just didn't understand, she said,

because I wasn't a parent; she

assured me that someday,

when I had children

of my own, I'd

understand.

 

But I don't.

© 2008 Marie Starr


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Featured Review

Sadly we do grow up in a segregated world divided between race, language, and creed.
And children catch this and soon begin to understand that blacks like to do such n such,
latinos do such n such all based on media and sometimes from personal hurt. I really like this
because it shows the everyday cover up. The horrible truth is that most people think that
certain races are over others.

Posted 11 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.



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Reviews

A description of change. There was a time when the warning "don't bring that on yourself and your children" was appropriate. "Know what you are getting yourself into" is a parental theme. Deciding to change is part of growing up.

Well written poem with significant value.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It is a shame that there is so much racism, hate and greed in the world, why can't everyone just live and let live. A nice write.

Posted 11 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Sadly we do grow up in a segregated world divided between race, language, and creed.
And children catch this and soon begin to understand that blacks like to do such n such,
latinos do such n such all based on media and sometimes from personal hurt. I really like this
because it shows the everyday cover up. The horrible truth is that most people think that
certain races are over others.

Posted 11 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed this. It pulled me in like we were close friends & you were whispering your fears & personal fears into my ears. The double standard of ignorance can be a very sharp blade indeed. I would love to hear this read. I think that is where the power of force would lay. Thanks for a great piece...

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't understand, either. Where I grew up it wasn't okay to bring a black man home. And knowing now what I do about the Cherokee and the Huron, I wonder what real difference it could make. I seem to remember that line about understanding when I have children of my own. And I do, my children had better bring home the person who makes them happy, no matter their race or origin.

Great write!

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very deep. About race and culture, and I somewhat understand. Because I am a mix too, of half Japanese and half Dutch/Danish descent. So in a lot of ways my mom wants me to marry an Asian or half Asian man, or white, while I am attracted to Black or Hispanics. So I liked the way you wrote this poem, in a very conversational manner, yet poetic all at the same time. Hard to do. But you pulled it off. thanks.

kena

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on October 8, 2008
Last Updated on November 1, 2008

Author

Marie Starr
Marie Starr

Rochester, NY



About
Let's see ... a little bit about me ... I am a writer & artist & photographer & fool. I try to use my fractal focus and obsessive tendencies to illuminate the edges of invisibility. I can usually be f.. more..

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A Poem by Marie Starr



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