Know Me & Blaze

Know Me


they’re meant to set

an example for how your life

may end up, make

mistakes so that you don’t

have to.


but my parents haven’t lived

through what i have, and their

lives are therefore different

than how mine will

be.


most teenagers say their parents

don’t understand them, talk

about loneliness and

fierce individualism, but deep

down, crave affirmation.


my parents understand me; my

obsessive need for control, my

sarcastic nature, my uninhibited

ambition, they understand

all that.


they know me.


they know the facets

of my soul, know the way

i think, analyze everything; i

am not them, and they understand

that i will be different.


my life will not be the same

as theirs, for i am

a girl with red-and-gold

in her blood, raised

and painted and red-and-white.


i have privilege that i

cannot fathom, have

luxuries i take for granted, i

am as much a white girl

as any of my friends.


so why it is so hard

for everyone else to see

past the ochre tones

of my skin, past the almond shape

of my eyes, see me?


why can’t i be

like you?


Blaze


if she was

programmed from

her parents' dna,


she’d have her mother's

pebble blue eyes

and her father's

broad grin,


she’d be tall and lean

with hair in dark waves;


she’d finally be

like them.


she would be white

and have all the

privilege associated.


she wouldn't have

memories of biting

her tongue so she doesn’t

rock the boat.


she wouldn’t have

score marks

from when she bit

too hard

and it bled scarlet,


dripping down her

teeth.


isn't that

the perfect metaphor

for her?


red running

down white,


just a stream,


dwarfed by the

ivory marble

all around.


she shied from pink

throughout her childhood,


for it was too

reminiscent of her

quotidian life:


melded red and white

mocking her failures

to assimilate.


but she changes,


that little girl

scared of who she is

supposed to be

and what she is

supposed to say.


refuses to sit still

as they dulcify

with blue teddies

and white blankets.


rises from the world

telling her to conform,


she burns

pink.


and she knows

if she had her mother’s

blue eyes,


she wouldn’t know

the red that ripples

in her hair,


she wouldn’t know

the way she can

set the world ablaze,


she wouldn’t know

anything but ice.


pale,


cold,


white.


she’s beautiful

in all the ways a girl

should be,


but she’s delicate;


summer’s scorch

would melt her

first touch.


ice melts,


but fire

continues

to blaze.


"know me" is a piece about belonging. As a transracial adoptee raised in a predominantly white area, I have struggled with the notion of 'fitting in' all my life. "know me" expresses some of the thoughts I have had over the years about the fickle nature of 'belonging.'

"blaze" serves as a sequel of sorts to "know me." Where "know me" veers towards petulance and lamentation, "blaze" addresses how one may change as a result of not 'belonging' and how that transformation may ultimately strengthen an individual's character.

Biography:

Sarah Rabby's works have been previously featured by Eve Poetry and Poets of Alberta, and will soon appear in anthologies from Ink Movement, Lemon Daisy Poetry, and Train River. Find her @sarahrabbywriting on Instagram.


Instagram: @sarahrabbywriting