“What Is She?” by Suzon George
Are you a parent going through the Terrible Twos? Did you live through them and survive? Terrible Twosdays is a place to commiserate over the unending shenanigans of your Darling Children (as the online parenting communities say). Nonfiction stories will be considered, so long as names have been changed to protect the guilty. Inspired by our best-selling gift book for parents, Go the Fuck to Sleep, Terrible Twosdays joins the roster of our other online short fiction series. Unlike Mondays Are Murder and Thursdaze, we’re looking for stories with a light and mischievous feel, all about the day-to-day challenges of parenting. As with our other flash fiction series, stories must not exceed 750 words.
This week, Suzon George offers a story in verse about a young girl named Mimi.
Mimi is a girl who walks up on her toes,
bringing laughter and music wherever she goes.
Her buckwheat honey hair holds a good, sturdy braid,
and each day she must wear something pink—any shade.
Mimi’s eyes are green lily pads skating on wind
and smooth creamed maple candy’s the blush of her skin.
Her Mama is one color, Papa is another,
and her fondest of wishes? —A sister or brother.
When Mimi was a babe with Mama at the store,
a well-meaning lady exclaimed with a roar
“O how precious your baby, that little sweet pea
but I really must ask you, her race . . . what is she?
Please don’t think me rude or a lumbering porpoise;
for I think mixed-race children are just simply gorgeous!”
“No offense taken,” Mama said, taken aback,
the abruptness of questioning felt like attack.
But as Mama looked down at her innocent baby,
she wanted to answer the well-meaning lady.
“Well she’s pink in the winter and brown when it’s hotter
of one thing I’m certain—this girl is my daughter.”
Then Mama leaned over, her heart full of bliss
and bestowed on her Mimi a mother’s soft kiss.
As Mimi grew up in kind virtue and beauty,
some strangers thought asking, “What is she?” their duty.
“Is she black? Is she white? A Cape Verdean? Asian?
Of the Christian? Or Buddhist? Or . . . Muslim persuasion?
But Mimi’s faithful parents withstood all the buzz,
for they knew “Christian” is only as “Christian” does.
They said, “Mimi’s a Yankee, loving lilacs and cod
and her soul’s in the fine, kingly image of God.”
So if you are a parent, facing someone who’s blatant,
remember to love and to always be patient.
And never put the looks of your child in a box.
It’s okay to be black and to have golden locks.
And it’s fine to be white with a ‘fro and a tan
when you’re peaceful and just, whether woman or man.
SUZON GEORGE writes everything from children’s stories to narrative non-fiction, poetry to erotica. After years of writing for her own pleasure, she is submitting her work for publication, and Akashicbooks.com is the first to publish her work! Musings and news of her progress can be found at SuzonGeorge.com. Suzon has worked in many capacities as a music teacher, classical musician, nurse’s aide, wife and mother. She lives with her knight, princess and flock of wild turkeys in a gleaming white castle in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Terrible Twosdays flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should focus on the challenges of parenting. Ideally, stories should be about children aged 0 to 5, but any age (up to early teens) is acceptable. Stories may be fiction or nonfiction.
—Include the child’s age at the time of the story next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected] paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Jun 17, 2014
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