With your white-white hair
and your pale skin you protected from the sun
Did you have any regrets?
Were you thankful
for the gift you were given?
The gift to pass as white?
When many brothers and sisters fell
to hatred and insurgents
To pillaging of villages and claiming of already owned land
You cut your hair, curled it so
And you belonged.
I do not blame you.
You were not full-blooded,
But oh how you longed to be.
I have memories,
sitting on a porch swing,
a warm wet rag in your weathered hand,
you gently curling my dark, brown hair.
Willing curls to take root.
Thank the spirits for my mothers heritage,
the heritage of wavy hair.
You feared for me,
to not be white.
I the darkest of your grandchildren,
the one with the most evidence,
Even though not much,
Of a people many would be happy to forget.
You were born of Chickasaw heritage,
But died white.