Distant Cousins

Is it fear or recognition that I see when you look at me?
Yes, you know who I am, your distant cousin
from that far off land.
Forever near, I’m always around,
a positive force, no I won’t stay down.

Don’t hate me for who I am,
It was our forefathers that initiated the plan.
Four generations removed from the pure bred ancestors
of Senegal, Zimbabwe, Mandingo and Zulu.

So when you look at me as if to say,
“Who does she think she is? ”
The look on your face says it all.
It’s not because I’m black or brown, honey or sepia
that makes you look at me that way.
You see the sins of the father coming back to
haunt you day after glorious day.

Don’t deny my birthright, and don’t
question my paternity.
Don’t plant seeds of fear and doubt
that grow into eternity.
Accept the past, embrace the present
and anxiously await what is to be,
I am more than a branch on your family tree.

I am your distant cousin but you should recognize,
the reflection, connections or inflections
aren’t always easily devised.
It’s in the shade and the grade,
it’s in the nose, the lips, the eyes.
So whenever you see me,
don’t looked so surprised.

by Cassandra Boyd

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