Poems of the Week

Beyond the Pale

by Julia Griffin

Miss India 2019 organizers blasted for fair-skinned finalists.”
—India Today

The earth has nothing to show more fair
Than the belles who would be Miss India,
Mincing along in their Disneywear—
And every darn year pale-skinned-ier!
O who would have thought that the favoured sheen
Of a 50s Barbie- or Cindy-Girl
Would be de rigueur in the year ’19
For Punjabi- and Rawalpindi-girl?
O why must it be that the human peach
Who overcomes every rivalry
Is fleshed in a colour approaching bleach
And ethically-suspect ivo(l)ry?
Say, why can’t her darker sisters preen,
Lips puffy and paint meticulous—
Or collagen-free and size sixteen
(But that would be just ridiculous).