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When You Chase the Light

By Arla Shephard Bull

Off the shore of some beach I’ve long since forgotten the name of, I kick up my legs and splash my father and sister with saltwater.

My legs have been covered in mosquito bites from the moment my family and I stepped off the plane to visit my mother’s relatives in the Philippines. I say something disparaging about my legs, my appearance. After all, I am fifteen.

But my father compliments me.

“I love the color of your legs,” he says. “Your skin is so beautiful.”

He kicks up his own dark legs, inheritance from our African ancestors, and compares them to mine. I can’t…

About the Author

Arla Shephard Bull writes creative nonfiction and poetry in the Pacific Northwest. Her creative nonfiction pieces and poems have appeared in Reservoir, Maganda Magazine, WusGood? magazine and Queen Mob’s Tea House. She is a fellow of the VONA/Voices writer’s workshop for writers of color and is a University of Washington graduate. When not writing, she spends time eating with her husband, playing with her ten-month-old son and Dachshund Scottish terrier puppy, and daydreaming of their next adventure.

 

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