you can’t color your sister


Poem by Oluwatomisin Oredein


my nephew told my sister

that his unborn sister

will be white.


told, not asked.


I was on the phone with them.


I heard the hope in his voice -

it curled his tongue.


the shockwaves silenced my sister.


I’m usually a bystander

in this Parenting 101 course,

but I had to step in:


“no, buddy.

she might look a little lighter at first

but she’s going to look just like you!