Rosalie Hendon

No box to check.

Whether filling out the Census

or the intake form at the dentist.

I (of course) don’t have this issue.

There’s always a box for white people.

Before you, I never realized

the list of boxes wasn’t enough.

It’s easy on our census, you say.

White, indigenous, mestizo–-

Mixed. Like most of Ecuador.

Latino isn’t an option here, to your frustration.

I get tripped up, trying to explain ethnicity vs. race.

At the dentist, you write in

“South American.”

On the US Census, you check “other,”

write in “mestizo: indigenous and European descent”

in case they don’t know what it means.

How to capture someone with your ancestors?

Turkish, German, Spanish, native Ecuadorian,

and that’s just what you know about.

Your last name is a town in Spain.

Colonists, migrants, natives,

You descend from them all.

They commingle in your blood.

About the Author

Rosalie Hendon (she/her) is an environmental project manager living in Columbus, Ohio. Her work is published in Ravens Perch, Quibble Lit, Sad Girls Diaries, Pollux, Blue Bottle, and Willawaw, among others. Rosalie is inspired by ecology, relationships, and stories passed down through generations.


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