Second-Hand Skin

When I say I have my dad’s skin, I wonder if They imagine a man who once was brown, walking around, showing off all his innards. … They wouldn’t be wrong.

When they ask what I am, I wonder if They know what I feel.  That the color of my skin has made me look unreal.  That what I am is defined by the oddity of my body, see.  That I am a secret show they’re entitled to free.  … They’re somewhat right. I am, after all, the one walking around blind, skinned in brown… as if it was a perfectly normal thing to do.

Much like my dad who always acts, like he doesn’t need skin to keep his insides, in.
Maybe that’s why he gave it to me.



I’m behind on my Writing 201 challenges, but this was Day 3 — “Skin” as a word prompt, “Prose Poetry” as a suggested style, and “Internal Rhyme” as a literary device.

What color do you call your skin? Or do you walk around like my parents, without any on at all?


      1. you are welcome. My skin is of the olive variety in case you are interested. Still hoping I can cajole ? you to join my challenge. Have you read any of the entries? They are so off the chain that the chain had to unlink itself and now it has really chainged its appearance so much that it appears to be molten gold with a slight copper tinge.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Only partially covered, so I’m somewhere in between.
    My color varies, it depends on where you look.
    Your skin looks lovely, I think it should be seen.
    Mine is well hidden, except somewhere in a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Mine is well hidden, except somewhere in a book.” – should be the answer to every question ever. 😀

      And thank you. My skin color varies, too… which I didn’t really know till I went to prison. I kept telling them I was IndoorPeoples, but they just didn’t get it… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As I was reading your post I immediately started looking at my hands. I remember as a child looking at my hands. So white, so smooth, my mother’s hands were so much more creased by life. Her hands showed the effects of time, sun, and work. Now I see my hands are like hers. I wonder if my daughter does the same thing.

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    1. I’m almost certain she does. It’s one of those conversations I like to have with other women, about how our hands become our mother’s hands.

      I always loved my mom’s skin– smooth and peachy, bright and glowy. Wrinkled and un-callused, all at the same time.

      Hands are wonderfully fascinating things.


  3. I call my skin ‘forgot to mix well’ my mom is light skinned and my father is dark skinned. I have the same condition as him where some spots are without pigmentation others very dark.. When kids asked in school why i had a ‘white’ spot on my shoulder Id always laugh and say my parents forgot to mix the colour very well.

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    1. Ha! Mine is the same. I have freckles. Freckles, for goodness sake, on skin as dark as mine. I tell people mine is layered– that I have my mother’s skin under my father’s, which is why the blushes and freckles break through.

      For what it’s worth, to me, your skin is beautiful. ❤


  4. I call mine cinnamon. Not quite a color, but it does describe me pretty well. At first glance, people think I’d burn to a crisp if placed in sunlight. That’s not the kind of skin I have, though. Surprisingly, I tan, a light golden brown. Something passed down from all of my olive family. 😉

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  5. I often forget my skin has any colour at all, though often if I neglect my shaving I’m referred to as Muslim, so I’m assuming I look vaguely middle eastern or something. Hard to tell what people mean these days.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always been hard to tell what people mean. They’re odd ducks, as a unit. It’s why I try not to deal with people, and try only to focus on individual persons. MUCH easier. I also forget my skin has color, until I remember all of a sudden, and then it becomes a very big thing.

      Skin is as weird as people. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My skin is medium toasted white. As the summer wanes my skin gets lighter with not as much time spent outside but hopefully since our move to NC I will still be able to enjoy outdoor time without the stark whiteness of the snow of Iowa. Love your post.

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  7. My skin is a pale canvas covered with faded brown freckles. I’ve often look at skin and wondered what it would be like to see arms or a face of a solid color. Then again, it wouldn’t be me. One of my siblings has what is called a light olive complexion. When I was a tiny girl I used to look hard to see any green skin there.

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    1. Ha! We’re going to have to find an artful description for you, too. Fishgut is not acceptable, haha! Unless I can say something awful, too… like… uterus-wall brown. 😉 Ew, I just grossed myself out.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually color blind or metaphorically color blind? 🙂 My insides are full of lovely colors. Which reminds me of that Shel Silverstein poem…

      My skin is kind of sort of brownish
      Pinkish yellowish white.
      My eyes are greyish blueish green,
      But I’m told they look orange in the night.
      My hair is reddish blondish brown,
      But it’s silver when it’s wet.
      And all the colors I am inside
      Have not been invented yet.
      ~Shel Silverstein

      Liked by 1 person

  8. To use the words of my JuCo Anthropology professor, “swine pink”. Or in the words if another old, white guy (Woody Allen), “I don’t tan, I stroke.” It’s a good thing I have sparkly eyes, otherwise I’d have to call myself a Soulless Ginger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Psh. I’ve seen the sun touch you, and you didn’t ash or pass out. Your skin has to be light enough to match your hair, because nothing dares argue with red hair– not even skin. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m fairly white skinned, but I tan well, and I used to not be happy unless I could look down and see how brown my toes were. So all those years in the sun ruined my skin. Count yourself lucky!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Aw, your skin isn’t ruined. It’s still holding you all together beautifully. 🙂 I tan pretty extremely. Sometimes I forget how brown I can be if I’m outside!


  10. I do “pale and interesting” really well. My dad tans really well, my mum not so much. I guess I just got all the Celtic pale Irish/Scottish genes. Wish I’d got the red hair to match…

    Skin is very useful. Keeps some things in and other things out. It’s also the biggest organ of a body. Random fact for you there. 😉 Xx



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