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!