A small and simple story about bigotry in our society today~
She rushed through the door and flung herself into my arms,
little catches of her breath trailing after her sobs.
This sweet child of grace so agonized by something that
oozed from every pore of her discontent.
I could only hold her close, stroking the soft curl of her hair,
until her river of misery had run it's course.
Finally able to quell the tiny heaving of her sighs, she looked at my face
with leftover tears clinging to her lashes and asked,
"Mama, why don't other grown-up mama's like me like you do ?"
Quizzing must have shown in my face, for she questioned me again.
"Mama, tell me ... tell me ! Why don't other mama's like me ?"
"Sweetie, of course they like you. Silly girl !", I teased.
She pulled away and glared through those ebony eyes.
Where there had been hurt there was now a tinge of anger.
"No they don't ! They don't like me at all. And you won't tell me why."
"Sweetheart, whatever makes you think they don't like you ?"
"Jessica said I was different."
She said she didn't know what that was, but her mama said I was different."
"Mama, what does different mean ?"
"Mama, am I different ?"
"Yes, you are different. We are all different.
You are my child. You make me happy.
Just my style of different."
"Sweet little love, with those eyes and your satin ebony skin, no mama could help but love you."
Now the quizzing looked back at me.
"Do you even know what ebony is ?" , I asked in wonder.
Contemplatively, her little head slowly shook from side to side,
"No, I don't know, Mama. What is it ?"
Realizing the fragility of this moment, I took her tiny hand in mine
and led her to the piano bench.
Her pouting face had turned quizzical once again.
I placed her hands on the keys alongside mine and she smiled.
"My love, these dark keys are black, the color of ebony.
Like the lovely color of your skin.
The light keys are ivory colored.
They are like the color of your little friends skin.
Together they can make a happy song to sing.
Come on, you play the ivory ones and I'll play the ebony ones.
Let's see what pretty music we can make together."
We played a couple of simple merry tunes.
When we finished I smiled down at my child.
"Now do you know what color ebony is ?", I softly smiled.
From the pouty rose-tinged ebony lips came a reply I wasn't aware she held within her.
"Yeah, Mama, I know what ebony is now.
It must be the color that makes other kids mamas whisper to their ivory, "Do you really have to invite all the kids in your class to your party ?"
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