Faded, Not Forgotten

I ironed the r’s from my tongue
as forcefully as I ironed the curls from my hair.
Musical o’s were subdued and bleached
to help disguise caramel hues to an innocuous beige.

I never questioned it, or the intent behind it.
It was just expected of me. I complied.

Storms came.
Rain revealed the rotting things shallowly buried
with lightning bright enough to highlight all the decay.
Rancid revelations threatened 
to cut me open and leave me hollow.

As I choked, I remembered 
that even before the first clouds gathered
I had already started to question
the wisdom of that childhood advice.
What was chosen for me? What was truly me?

And in the storm’s fury,
though there is much that was lost already,
I let my curls fly around me like a banner
reminding me of the embers at the core of my soul
that could not be bleached away.

This poem was created in response to a prompt given over at A Dash of Sunny - Prompt Nights: Life is a Masquerade