Colouring me

I am dark skinned.
Or to put it nicely, my skin is filter kaapi with a dash of cream.
Growing up, I was scared to wear colour. Specially bright hues.
An attitude coloured by those around me.
Not my family, no.
But neighbours and strangers, and yes, we children are quite cruel
In a thoughtless way.

Always, I would cringe inside if I wore a bold colour.
And when it came to nail polish (before it became 'nail paint')
I nearly always chose pastels. Something that would be inconspicuous
Not call attention to the colour of my skin.

But now that I am older and more confident in my skin
I want to go bold. I want to embrace colour.
I wear jeans in turquoise and another pair that's a beautiful burnt-red hue.
I paint my nails cherry red, or sometimes, even a deep fuchsia
(so much nicer than just calling it 'pink'!).

Yes I still tremble inside a little
When I sport these colours
That are such a contrast to my own skin.
And yet, and yet, I smile too.
I like the play of colours.
I want that brightness and boldness
Because I am done with being subdued.

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