Little White Girl

Little White Girl

A Poem by Kristina Moulaison

Based on events from my childhood growing up in South Carolina.


We lived in the suburbs of Charleston when I was a girl. 

It was hot, so we ran from house to house, 
burning the bottoms of our feet, 
collapsing into the cool of our air conditioned houses, 
took swimming lessons in our own blue pools. 

When the hurricanes came,

we were safe inside our brick fortresses. 
Still, we held our breath as the silent eye passed over 
I knew it was watching, testing us. 

My best friend in school was not welcome in my neighborhood. 
The daddies thought her skin would run off into the water 
and it would never come clean.
I invited all the girls I knew to my birthday party, 
but she was the only one allowed to come. 

We picked her up, and I knew for the first time 
as we pulled up to her door 
that we were from different worlds.
I never wanted her to see my house, 
could not fathom betraying her with that truth, 
but there was no turning back. 
We lay there silent that night, 
both of us knowing. 

My mama threw parties. 
That’s what she did, 

so I learned to smile and curtsy, 
though I wanted to hide in a book in my walk in closet. 
When they would go on vacation, mammy would come. 
We would hide the Jamaican woman 
that covered our toaster, 
but I knew somehow, that single act, did not help any of us forget. 
Forget that my grandfathers owned hers, not too far from here. 

When I was alone with mammy 
we didn't talk at all, which was uncomfortable at first, 
talking being a social virtue and all.
Before long though, I got used to the rhythm of her silence. 

One day she took me to her house. 
I walked into her black and white world 
(funny how I remember it that way). 
I walked through the dirt that was her yard, 
into her wooden house, not much more than a slave shack, 
I see now. 

It was dark in there, but sacred. 
She showed me lace she had made, 
a medal that her husband wore, 
a broach her mama used. 
I felt like looking in her top drawer was looking into a vault, 
so precious were those things. 
I went home again, so ashamed.
How dare I live here in this house, so filled with plastic things, 
things I don’t care about. 

She drew my bath for me that night, 
an inch of water 
and asked me if it was enough. 
Yes maim, I said. 

She never touched me. 
I followed the dark wrinkles of her hands, 
wishing she would open them, 
hold my face like she would 
the little boy from the photograph by her bed, 
knowing she could not. 

Freezing, wanting more water 

to cover my naked skin, 
wanting to get clean, 

I sat there 
please God, 
don't let her see

me tremble.

© 2017 Kristina Moulaison

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The scary thing is when I went to visit my brother who went to school in west virginia I was surprized that this still lives-thrives-dwells. Segregation is a part of peoples everyday lives......I remember talking about where I lived to a school mate of his and he looked at me wide eyed my neighbors are Cuban, Jewish, Chinese and all are upper middle class and we have barbeques together- kids play together- adults build fences-pkay soccer or baseball. crazy world. This peice was wonderful. It spoke to me. You really tapped into a genre here that is sometimes talked about too politically correct or too rough/harsh. This was penned with really good skill.....into my favorites.

Posted 13 Years Ago

8 of 8 people found this review constructive.


Wow very powerful and thought provoking piece! Nice write.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Wow, this is really good and thoughtful. I like the "rhythms of her silence" because i know it. The ending and the juxtaposition of the old lady's world and the suburb is really well done. The ending is how we want to be and what we should all strive to feel.

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kristina Moulaison

2 Years Ago

Thanks so much, Richard!
Aloha Kristina, this is an epic piece of writing. The unfolding truth in your words are very moving and powerful. I'm not sure that I can say anything more without rambling :) Mahalo for your fine work. Izzy

Posted 3 Years Ago

Kristina Moulaison

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Izzy! I really appreciate it! :)
Island Hippy

3 Years Ago

You're welcome
wow, pretty impressive. great work.

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A wonderful tale of humanism and the harsh everyday reality for many and indeed, it so unjust and implausible that some people should consider themselves better or more superior to another !

Kudos indeed to your creative pen !

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wonder piece of writing

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Having reviewed this writing and its reviews, I'm left wondering what can be said here. I remember going to Saturday evening movies and looking toward the balcony where a thick wall ran straight down the middle, one side white, one side black. Two drinking fountains, two restrooms, everyting in twos in a world where philosophers were telling us that nothing is all black or white and that we needed to learn to see the grey. It was the age of the great hypocricy and you brought it all back in this magnificent work.

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The first black men I ever met slept in my bed while I slept with mom and dad and my little sister.
It was about 1945 so I was seven or eight years old, maybe less.
They sat and ate with us and laughed when I felt their faces.
They only stayed the one night then went off to war the following day. I guess it was earlier than 1945 because the bombing was still going on.after they left.
Maybe they died trying to stop it.
It is a memory that has kept me from prejudice since.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kristina Moulaison

7 Years Ago

Great story! Thank you for sharing it. Always good to hear from you.

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41 Reviews
Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on February 6, 2008
Last Updated on February 13, 2017


Kristina Moulaison
Kristina Moulaison

Bellingham, WA

I write. Read me. We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, la.. more..


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