On that black sand coast, a woman can say pink dress in English. That is the mark I have made on the world. When they were to walk too far or do work too hard for me to bear, my family left me with the neighbor, her nine children. She’d strip off my clothes, line me up with the rest, and bathe us by dousing us with buckets. The clothes she put back on me were not always my own. I wept, wanting to be distinguishable again. She memorized the foreign syllables I kept crying to repeat to my parents, so they could tell the cause of my terrible suffering. My pink dress, was what she sounded out. How weak, what foolishness. Years, I imagined how she must have looked down on me. Until I heard she’d left her family for a white man. She’d had twelve children by then and never gotten what she wanted. Her explanation for what she’d done: I wanted a chance to have a baby with blue eyes.
Rose McLarney | The Same as Anyone Contents | Mudlark No. 51 (2013)