Georgia Ann BanksMartin

Lincoln Park, MI
Georgia Ann BanksMartin
Lincoln Park, MI
Saturday, May 22, 2010

Madonna And Child

My priest said Jesus had golden hair,
was the son of Mary and Joseph;
was crucified for my sins––and I believed,
not knowing children attending segregated
schools learned white people were good;
black bad, that black children preferred
pink dolls to those who were chestnut,

but I knew my olive skin
(not even when the summer sun
glazed it caramel) never hid my blue veins;

I had run my finger along Mother’s arm,
looking for the same slender cables,
disappointed the mahogany didn’t break,
had asked, which five-and-dime
she bought me from,
wondering if it were Cunningham’s
where she got my blonde baby doll
whose hair I pen-curled ‘til I was twelve,

‘til mother bought me a doll
with light brown skin, a pink swimsuit;
tan lines, long sandy hair I could braid,

but Jesus still was a yellow-haired baby boy,
held by a veiled woman in blue robes,
seated on a throne,

never the son of a mother who knelt over
a crib, wearing a bonnet, full black skirt,
white servant’s apron,
living in a one room house.
Georgia Ann BanksMartin

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