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I remember how big a difference it made in my youth
who I was standing with
my bones and my colouring made me look
like 1/4 anything
and I picked up accents so easily that whatever accents the people around me had
I had
without even trying.

When I wore shades
it changed even more
some groups found me easier to deal with
some harder
though the groups had not changed
I had only put on some sunglasses.

I was always the same person
I accepted my friends for who they were
not what they looked like
but the people who didn’t know me
would change.

When I took off my shades
if I was in a group mostly nonwhite
the fact that my eyes were blue was against me.

if I was in a group mostly white
my eyes were still held against me
because they were a piercing startling blue
like a hawk’s eyes
or so I heard.

Funny thing, looking back?
I never knew it was my eyes that were doing it
I never understood why people changed how they treated me
because I took off the mirrored lenses I liked so much.

I only understood hiding
behind those lenses
so no-one could tell
when I cried.