• CallMeNell

Shaping of Nature

I am a black sheep

I am a self-aware black sheep

Why this overused symbolistic analogy?

Let me share


Sheeps are shorn for their wool

It is soft to the touch, we love to feel,

It is straightened, chemically, used to make clothing

My gray/black natural hair is soft and full


Please don’t touch, I just got the style right

Straighten, when I was younger,

so I could look acceptable in public

Chemically straighten to be presentable


Chemically straighten to be more manageable

Can you imagine walking around in an

Untreated wool shirt or pants?

Would love an untreated, natural wool coat


On the runway in Paris, it would be acceptable

Big, thick in its natural glory

The transition of my hair

Like shedding of a mask


This wasn’t me

Unwanted beauty thrust upon me

A frilly dress for a tomboy

Hair a mother can curl easily


All I want is a ponytail

Tshirt, jeans, plaid shirt and Converse

Sundays are for curls and dresses

Little black girls always have to be

Freshly pressed, from hair to socks


My blackness is what you see

It is what you 1st see, right

Before you know my name, hear my voice

Even before you can smell me

I smell great, tonight it’s lemongrass


You see my blackness

It is part of my identity

My main identifier in a predominantly white class

1996, trade school, culinary class

Yearbook pic is quite funny


White chef uniforms, my black face standing out

You can point out a black sheep amongst the herd

Their color, a negative space in a field of green and white

Almost a curious oddity

I was a curious oddity


My Nature was nurtured for

Someone else’s approval

Didn’t want to go the same route

Completely boring to me


Confrontation is not my bag

Did what I was told

People didn’t even have to ask

Didn’t want the hassle


I expand my mind with comic books

Love to read, love to write

Proud geek, nerd

Unconventional Blerd


Procrastination is a favorite past time

I’ll get back to that statement, in a minute

I rather talk about my allergy to lemon

All teas taste great with lime


Didn’t know a lot about myself until

Self-exploration, please not that kind

I’m quite a prudent person

Invisible pearl clutcher


Did I mention about the time

I had to explain my natural hair

During a staff meeting?

All white, deja vu foresight seeing


It was needed, because the question was asked

‘What’s going on with your hair’

The caucasity was in full effect

I can be quite blunt


Explanations come naturally to me

Always have to explain my actions

To people who don’t bother to Learn

anything on their own


Untrained teacher to the unconcerned

This on my forehead?

Birthmark, simple

Ask me about the marks you don’t see


The ones that are afflicted upon me

By rude remarks

“You talk white”

How am I supposed to react


Without anger, just a chuckle or laugh

Don’t want to perpetuate angry black woman

The anger is there, how can it not be

But I bury it down, unleashed wrongly


How should I respond

Maybe with a Baa, baa - sheep sound the same

black or white, go along with the herd

Afraid of wrong repercussions


Sights and sounds are different

Do black sheep sound different than the white?

Are they supposed to?

Do they need to sound different so the farmers aren’t confused?


My iPod is the soundtrack to my life

Angry white boy music, comment from a friend

A little Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone

My name is Peaches, on a good day


My thoughts are scattered

Afraid to share most of them

There are a lot


Mental illness, some days can’t think straight

Smile and grin, play along

Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine


Being my black is tough sometimes

When I explain this, some get nervous

I really need you to know


Raise to not notice differences

Surround by things that remind me

Every day that I am black


Pride before a fall

I LOVE being black


Nurtured to ignore the ignorance

As I get older, the noise gets louder


How can this be ignored

I am self-aware


Isaac Asimov is a favorite author

I can sympathize with Sonny


I can go on, there is more

But, can we save it for another day?


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