White-Washed

My mother fashioned my hair
+++++iinto rows of wheat.
++++++++++++++++iI am in a plaid button down
++++++++++++++++++++++iand cow girl boots–
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++this is the year
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++iiI will declare
my All-American heritage:
+++++ino more cornrow pleats
++++++++++++++++ior Southern meals.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Today I am not my accent
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++iior choice of meal.
I am a black stain
+++++ion a white handkerchief:
++++++++++++++++iAmerica stitched across
++++++++++++++++++++++ithe borders,
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++colors confined,
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++iibetween the right lines.

HeadshotDalia Ahmed is a junior at Miami Arts Charter School attending the Creative Writing Program. She has won keys and medals in Scholastic’s Alliance for Young Artists and Writers and was chosen as a semifinalist for the National Student Poets Program as well as a Foyle Young Poets commendee. Her most recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Dog Eat Crow, Postscript Literary Journal, the Best Young Writers 2013 publication, the Of Love and Dedication anthology, and elsewhere. Dalia also received first place in poetry in the Sierra Nevada College High School Writing Contest. Dalia lives in Miami, FL with a large Afro-Arab family, collections of colorful headscarves, and many bowls of hummus and pita bread.