Poem: “The lady said” (biracial)

Here is a tiny treasure that I found in the library this summer. A book of poems, All the Colors of the Race, written by Arnold Adoff. Based on his own interracial family, Adoff writes from the perspective of his biracial (black/white) daughter, which I find very interesting. At first I was a bit thrown off because I generally prefer poetry to rhyme, however, his style is considered “free verse” poetry. The more I read (and re-read) them, the more I fall in love with them! I hope you do too.

The lady said

by Arnold Adoff

The lady said:       what are you going to


                                when you grow

                                all the way up?

And I said:      a woman.

And she said.     No. I mean what are



And I said:   a girl.

And she said:   No. I mean what do you call


And I said:   Honey. Baby. Sweet



                                       face me.

If she finds it hard,

                     I find it easy

     to make it hard for her.

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I am a walking dichotomy. The line of beauty, or serpentine line, that connects the yin and yang. I live in this space freely and welcome all of me.

2 thoughts on “Poem: “The lady said” (biracial)”

  1. thanks so much….this collection was from the 80’s and followed my: “black is brown is tan” in 1974 which turns out was the first picture book for kids to deal with biracial families….also: see the books my son is publishing with many biracial central characters: jaimeadoff.com and of course the many books by my wife: virginiahamilton.com
    keep up your great work: arnold

  2. Arnold, what an honor and privilege to have you stop by! Thank you for taking the time to comment–I will definitely check out your additional resources! Thank you for all of your great work–you have a special place in our home!

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