White Woman Brown Heart | Cassandra Voices

White Woman Brown Heart


Even the color of my skin belies who I really am.
Always on the outside looking in . . . even with my own kin.
Blonde and blue-eyed born into a brown world,
I came to see myself through their eyes, their skin, their pain.

White woman brown heart, I am.


I didn’t understand when sister girl said it wasn’t fair
that beauty and smarts went to someone like me.
Doors so freely opened were closed to her, I could not see.
Because sister girl, she looked the same to me.

White woman brown heart, I am.


Yankee white daddy my mama said is how I came to be.
They spoke his name first on that fateful sixth year.
My names were nothing then and they are nothing now.
Cause I’m a nobody traveling through life on an inner dark sea.

White woman brown heart, I am.


Tethered by psychic roots running so deep that
it matters not where I stand on the grid of space and time.
I’ll never understand the difference between them and me,
or why we only see what we see in the face of humanity.

White woman brown heart, I am.


The soul is what bends and shapes what we’re supposed to be . . .
And that difficult repentance the poet confessed long ago.
That’s what kept my days from always ending in that dark inner sea.
And a whispered thank you for all that ever was and ever will be.

White woman brown heart, I am.

Nance Harding is a Texan living in New Orleans. As a psychoanalytically oriented consultant, she uses archetypal pattern analysis and creative mentoring to assist adults during critical transitions requiring transformative change.  She writes poetry and flash fiction.

Feature Image: Marina Azzaro

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