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By Bella Reish

Why do I
Need a label
Like a loaf of bread?
Does it seem
Like I am wrapped in plastic
Made to be observed?

Where my family is from
Or why my hair is thick?
Why are you so intent on labeling
A person who lives, breathes, and thinks?
Is it because you want to buy me?
Keep me on your shelf?
Why does it matter
Why my skin is tan
Cut me into pieces to fill the hungry, gaping chasm inside of you?
I am done being your loaf of bread.

My name is Bella Reish, and I am a 14 year old. I moved recently from Chicago to Tennessee.
My Jewish ethnicity is the reason for my thick, curly, dark hair, brown eyes, tan skin, and face
that is not shaped in what many Americans would say is the typical white face shape. All of my
life, often at school, people think that it is ok to ask a series of probing questions or make
comments about my race. The idea for this poem came from the obsession with labeling me
that some my peers seem to have. They look at me, and they don’t think of me as a human with
a personality, but as an object that needs a label. I began to think, why are they so intent on
figuring out what country my parents are from and less interested in my personality?

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