When we say a heart is black,
we mean that anger has rooted
deep in sinews and marrow.
When we say skin is black,
how can we avoid comparing
with the phrase black heart?
Neither is any shade of black.
The heart is a red muscle,
slavishly beating, without rest.
People’s skin has every shade of
nature from flower petal to berry
to walnut to sand to rusty lichen
to cinnamon to coral to plum
and on until we have the rainbow,
every color but black and white.
As any painter knows,
none of us are white as swans;
none of us are black as tar.
Shadows are black not people.
I’m not white. I’m not black.
Whatever our skin color, our scarlet
hearts have potential to love,
to create art and craft poetry,
shaping ideas into kites.
Potential to make the world
a warmer, vibrant and more
welcoming place where a
crimson rose can love a walnut rose,
and a white swan can celebrate.
Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham
Notes: I have to thank photographer and artist Angelica Dass, whose Ted Talk (below) transformed me with its humanae project and its rainbow of skin colors. Also, I thank author and artist Gigi, who shared it on her site. For the lovely art (above), I thank photographer and blogger, Resa Swork, whose collection of street art at Graffitiluxandmurals is rainbow lovely. I collaborated with Resa twice before at Color on the Wind and A Grain of Sand. I also thank people the world over, whose hearts beat like mine, inside their color-wonderful skin.
Have a great weekend,