I imagined it was such an ordinary color

the color of my skin.


Brown, the color of Mother Earth,

rivers rain-swelled,

a variety of tones, sharps and flats, like people:

Africans, Indians, Asians, Pacific Islanders.

Don’t mind.


Apple Brown Betty, pie crusts, brown gravy,

coffee, caramel, chocolates,

walnuts, pecans, peanuts, cashews,

brown wrapping paper for Xmas packages.

Brown, the color of my skin. Don’t mind.


Kaleidoscope of kids brown-nose the teacher,

preppies scuff their brown penny loafers.

Brownstone elegance fights decay

creeping blight in New York City,

reminding of another time—resurrecting.


Browns of tapa cloth, batik, wood carvings

carved brown doors to places

and events memorable,

the brown doors, usually forgotten.


Brown owls, chipmunks, squirrels, dogs,

horses, elks, bears, giraffes,

gazelles, lions, and other creatures

around the globe. The color of me, brown.

Don’t mind.


Browns are as natural as breath,

as varied as grains of sand.

To think, I imagined it was such an ordinary color,

the color of my skin.