Liliana’s Colombian Analysis

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By Richard King Perkins II*

The worst thing about Colombia
are the killers—

the best thing about Colombia
are the people who are not killers.

When I was growing up
the other kids made fun of my light skin

calling me
Pale Girl and Cup of Milk

and mockingly pointed out my freckles
and fiery hair

so that I learned to be a tough fighter.

There were times when I wished
my hair and skin were dark

like the granos de café of the mountains

growing in the bloodgutters
of my nearly perfect world.

*Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL.

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