What are you?
These are the words that you ask me,
Stranger on the street, classmate at school, supervisor at my job.

I’m tired of explaining what I am.
Why can’t you try and discover who I am?
They tell me I am exotic.
They also told me, when I was young that I was not black, I was not white, I was not Native, I was different, weird…exotic…..
They called me mixed, mulatto, a zebra….

Why is your hair so wild, why is your skin so light, why are your lips so big?


They tell me now that I am exotic.

How dare you tell me I am not Black.
For the woman that raised me has beautiful brown skin, kinky curls and graceful hands.

How dare you tell me I am not White
For the woman who gave birth to my father has clear blue eyes, fair skin and flowing long hair.

How dare you tell me I am not Native
For the woman that gave birth to my mother has keen almond shaped eyes and strong cheekbones.

You tell me I am exotic.
But exotic is foreign to this part of the world.
Exotic is intriguing
Exotic is excitingly strange
A young woman who questions my place in this world, my intrigue and my strangeness.

Who am I?
I am not strange and I am definitely of this world.
In fact, I am a mix of all the things that make up this world, both near and far.
They will not ask me what I am anymore.
They will discover who I am.
They will not call me exotic anymore, For I am my Black mother’s daughter, my White grandmother’s grandchild and my Native grandmother’s grandchild.

And yes, I have wild hair that matches a wild spirit.
Yes, I have light skin that glows similar to my White Grandmother’s.
And yes, I have full lips that speak eloquently like my Black mother.

I am not exotic.
I am a daughter and mother and woman of this world.

Keri Wilborn
copyright 2015 Keri Wilborn