Collecting Things – by Anna Burnett

Collecting Things

We fill our home with
brown dolls and
picture books of
famous brown people
who did great things
to make up for the fact
that we aren’t
but you are.

These things are not enough.
Sweet daughter, you’ll look back
when you are older,
through the windows
of this dollhouse, find
these replicas—mere
illusions of a culture
you deserved to experience
in all its vibrancy and materiality.

This story is always going to be
slightly different than you
would have wanted it to be.

Anna Burnett is a high school English teacher and poet. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina and an Master of Arts in Teaching Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing centers around religion, adoption, and motherhood, topics that she knows well as a transracial adoptive parent. Outside of teaching and writing, Anna enjoys camping and working on endless DIY projects.  She resides in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband of 11 years and three uniquely beautiful daughters. Follow her work on Instagram @A.Burnett_Writes.

Art: “Quiet Morning” by Sandy Coomer - 12X12, acrylic pour on claybord
Statement: In the hush of morning, we realize all our efforts to do enough, sometimes simply can’t be enough. Yet, maybe there’s a sort of solace in the attempt to do right out of love. And maybe, looking back, that love is what is enough.