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The Family Tree-Asha Keller

The little shadow girl despises her hair.

The little boy in the closet waits for his father to care.

The strong man knows the nightmares disappear in the light

The woman on the cold corner dreads the beginning of a long night.

They each silently wonder why

Their dear parents thought it best to lie.


Do they even know why they lied?

Did they like their own hair?

Or ever ask themselves why

They never bothered to care?

Maybe because they’ve also had their share of lonely nights,

Waiting for a spark of light.


At some point, they too lost their light

At some point, they too heard the lies.

Sometimes, they still cry themselves to sleep at night.

Sometimes, they still cover and cut and perm their hair.

It’s easier than caring,

And simpler than understanding why.


Did anyone have a reason why?

Why they found comfort in the light?

Why anyone ever cared

About society’s lies

That a person’s value is in the color of their skin or the texture of their hair

Or who they are taking home on any given night.


How can they sleep at night?

How are they comfortable not knowing why?

Who told them they should be ashamed of their hair?

Who told them they had to dim their light?

Someone taught them to be liars.

Someone taught them not to care.


Maybe their parents also never cared.

Maybe their parents also never kissed them goodnight.

Maybe their parents also lied.

Maybe their parents also never told them why.

Maybe their parents also found weakness in the dark and strength in the light.

Maybe their parents also hated their hair.


Their parents have created an endless cycle of hating one’s hair and failing to care.

Their parents are the product of a society that failed to see their light or offer them a peaceful night.

Their parents never could figure out why instead of loving their children, they lied.

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