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‘Normal? Anything But’: A Poem on South Asian Identity

normal
2 min read

A white girl called me normal
Tiny, rainbow hair;
does not like
Taylor Swift.

“You are very normal, and very pop.”
Pop?

Like a big blue balloon
she’s just
popped.

I am a blackboard:
chalk marks strewn across my canvas,
suddenly wiped clean by a
dusty old eraser.

Second grade, monkey bars
“BROCCOLI HEAD”
Girl was just green with envy
over my Indian hairdo
while hers was just
normal.

The bully on the yellow school bus
yelled, “Shut up little brown girl”
when I dared to speak up
for another kid.
Decidedly brown,
not very
normal.

Hospital beds, white sheets and white pillows
big burgundy pills protruding from my throat
Vicious needles that pricked my rainbow skin,
drew my rainbow blood.
Sick to my stomach since age 10
“We’ll get you back to normal.”

Eight days, eight molasses days
My brown face reflected off the shiny metal
surface because even though
red was always a good color on me,
glass can shatter and bleed you dry.
I would have killed myself to be
normal.

“I’m so weird and awkward.”
Special little snowflake,
as white as the snow that covers the Alps
She’s so proud of her Swiss heritage.

Well, I am proud of mine.
My culture is ancient, vibrant,
beautiful beyond compare
coursing through my veins.
You might have rainbow hair but I have
rainbow blood, rainbow skin, rainbow heart & soul.

My sister says normal is code for
basic
And honey,
I’m golden, sweet, and flow like honey.

Normal?
Anything but.


The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.

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