On that white sand your white skin needs imitation Japanese parasols to keep you that shade. Behind you, other white women stick their toes in the Gulf of Mexico, and nowhere in sight does anyone of color appear; and this is Mississippi, after all. Instead, your rolled American flag, your stylish one-piece bathing suits, and your finger wave hair are the only (now grey) colors in this photograph. I cannot help but ask, who cleaned your homes, who washed those delicate clothes, who made your packed lunches. Nowhere can I find those workers. It is 1920, remember, and we could not vote, either.
Katherine D. Perry's poetry has been published in Southern Women's Review, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Sleet Magazine, Borderlands, Women's Studies, 13th Moon, RiverSedge, Rio Grande Review, and Sojourn. She is an assistant professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College.