Ode to Brown

by Ashanti Anderson

Brown. My real hair color. Yes, really.
Brown. Everybody’s skin to some degree.
Brown. Cacao beans. Care-uh-male.
Unsalted cashews. Pistachio shells.
W.E.Brown Dubois.
Marcus Browney.
Spike Brown movies.
Brown. Almost purple. Sometimes green.

One-third of the camouflage cow.
The trunk of the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil.
The roadmaps on our palms.

Oil spill in the Gulf.
Waterlogged sand between my toes.

Brown grease for the fish fry.
Brown maple syrup and the second pancake
is always the brownest.

Anthills and Grand Canyons.

Brown Bellini peach teas and well-done steaks
and a brownie with two spoons
sticking out the sides.
Brown. Our eyes, flecks in yours
and a whole pool circling around mine.

Staring at my future ex-husband.
Or maybe my wife.

Brown. My fertilized and matured ovum.
The brown half-moons above my babies’ fingernails.
Daddy’s brown belt versus Mama’s brown switch.
Even the way we “act” is brown.

Brown. The little boy laying face down
in the middle of the street in the ‘hood.
Brown. The brown dried blood on the street
in the brown ‘hood.

The brown street.
The brown ‘hood.


The Shooter.


Photo credit

About Ashanti Anderson

Ashanti Anderson is an undergraduate student at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.

Ashanti Anderson

Ashanti Anderson is online at