Rules: for Biracial Native Girls

Anastasia Jill

 

You will grow up in the same body as your mother and grandmother. Yours will be lighter; this will mean nothing to the men who will hurt you.

You will be three times more likely to be stolen like a Plymouth rock in the hands of a dirty, greedy jeweler. He will sell you for less than your face value demands and get away with it. And he can, because you’re you.

Your dad will be white, and your eyes will be blue and the dreams of your ancestors will go unseen; not because you don’t speak, but because you don’t speak enough to the moon, or the sky, who speak to you.

You will never be asked for your name or your age but will be told a thousand times I bet you go to college for free because merit means nothing in the face of a statistic; the bottom 2% is reserved for women like you.

But here’s the thing; you are not a woman like you because of your upbringing, DNA split in two like oil and water, milk and chocolate syrup. You will be equal parts sweet and powerful as you are nutritious, but no one drinks you. Even mama is too intolerant for you.

You will never be innocent, but you will always be privileged, and you know it, but you also want to know more: your culture, your people will be a bandwidth away at all times. You have the ability to say no; these people are not like you.

You will be raised to stay out of the sun and wear linen and old lace and all other things that are just so white. Your hair will be brushed of curls and streaked with traces of blonde and people will comment that they wish their little girl was just like you.

You won’t notice the way people look and stare at family pictures, how different you look from the rest of your family. But you’ll learn when you are older.

You will be baptized and raised Rebecca, when you aren’t a person, you are the whole Earth; topsoil of struggle beneath a veil of skin that will see the world through the alabaster lenses. The struggle will be the same, but you can walk away.

You will not realize this power until you’re older.

To be specific when you are an old woman and finally cross “Visit Gravesend” off your bucket list, seeing off the real-life Pocahontas, wherever she may be. She’ll be buried somewhere in the ground, and you will bow your head in reverence.

Three hundred years mean no difference. There will always be a girl who is just like you.

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Anastasia Jill is a queer writer living in the Southeast United States. She has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best Small Fiction Anthology, as well as several other honors. Her work has been featured with Poets.org, Lunch Ticket, apt, Minola Review, Gertrude, Into the Void, and more.