Notes from a brown mother

by Naomi Kanakia

My thieving bairn is fullish
crafty kind, with rosy cheeks
And a totty mind. She goeth through
My cupboards all, desks and drawers
Throw, and the impress of her butter
Hands, marks every bagatelle
With the sweat of her disdain.
I seen her looks, her tiny toes,
The mind that cannot ken
The language and the thought
Of the Anglo-Saxon race.
You’ll have to make your way
girl through this hell
On nought but your name.
For my wife has bequeathed
You a nothing name, foreign
To your blood, a nothing name
That’ll hide your nothing heart

Naomi Kanakia is the author of two YA novels and has books forthcoming from Feminist Press, Princeton University Press, and HarperTeen.