Written by Valyn Turner

Valyn Lyric Turner is spoken word poet, actor, songwriter, and activist hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the original home of the Cherokee and Creek native nations. Valyn is a sophomore Posse Scholar at Boston University where she double majors in Theatre Arts and Spanish. Notable poems include “Race in the Classroom” and “Bleeding Red, White, and Blue,” both of which have been featured on the podcast “The Only One in the Room” with Laura Catchart Robbins. You can also find Valyn’s work on the radio drama, “Iris”, wherever you get your podcasts. Valyn’s mission is to inspire, empower, and serve others through her craft.

“mama, where’s the peach? mama?”

“girl, whatchu need the peach for? use ‘chocolate chip’. right there.”

and i colored it in

my skin etched in crayola

it wasn’t clean, but it was mine

a little outside the lines

i tried not to mind that mine didn’t look like


“get that poison outcha mind, child whatchu mean you need

to look like Ivy?”


she used peach

so did Ethan and

Leah used peach


with ‘skin color’

“can you pass me the ‘skin color”

and she didn’t mean chocolate chip

and i dipped my chocolate hands into a basket full of sand

and pulled out a peach

and called it “skin color”

knowing damn well it wasn’t mine

“we are not defined by our hue. not me and not you.

so go’on and use the crayon that you want to use.”

and i picked up the peach

and mama frowned

and i held the peach up to my mouth

and opened wide

and took a bite

and mama smiled

and i asked if i could have the chocolate chip