My Culture Walk
by Gerardine Baugh
I am an anomaly. A person of color, that grew up in a neighborhood of even more color. Fact: life’s color doesn’t reflect from your skin. When I was a kid I had no idea I was one color or another until I was called out and told that my skin color was wrong, different, strangely overrated. Easily trapped like those Chicago rats, a Norway rat from Asia a migrant, a refugee deformed by poisons consumed. Rats chew through wood, glass, metal with teeth that continued to grow never really wearing down. Keeping them chewing, to live. To be poisoned to live to keep searching. To hunt, to quest, to explore to find a way out of the dark, avoiding death, the color of one rat no different than the other in the dark. Obscured in fur-covered skin. My hair won’t cover my skin color. I am human. I can see the rat. It pushes up from the hole under the house along the back wall near the alley close to food. Closer to the poison and no closer to getting what they need. Never seeing the color of its skin. Humans perceive one top layer. Ignoring the other six layers of protection.
Color Cats Claws
by Gerardine Baugh
Trimming cats claws. Eighteen toes, five toes in front. Four toes in back. A polydactyl cat has more toes. Hemmingway’s cats have six-toes and still live in Key West. Their owner died in Ketchum, Idaho. Nails fly as they are clipped. Some cats enjoy getting their nails trimmed. Other cats complain muttering growls. Nails grown beyond their blood supply are shed like a coat of long hair, shorthaired, others hairless –cats. They comb their hair with their claws. They groom, climb, protect and hunt with their claws. Old fashion wives, jealous wives, with their tail’s tales, worried their cat will steal their breath, needed their claws removed. Misinformation places a claw as a weapon, not seen as a cat’s finger, fingers with nails that need to be trimmed, or polished. I wonder what color my cat will like, pink or blue, possibly clear.