I’m not one thing or another
I don’t fit in Black or White
or Red or Brown or Yellow.
Mestizo is a tangle of tones.
Not enough Brown or White,
no full-blooded acceptance.
After the War, Dad said blend —
always act White American —
dress, speak, think background.
Secretive stares, strangers’ intrusive
questions of heritage demeaned.
Did White-plated mean cheaper?
Parents — one Filipino, one Irish —
unable to pass down clan guidelines,
I had to make my way each moment.
I married for love. I taught my own
to accept difference. In the eye,
I value people — underneath color.