Skip to main content
By Jacqueline Woodson

My mother has a gap between

her two front teeth. So does Daddy Gunnar.

Each child in this family has the same space

connecting us.


Our baby brother, Roman, was born pale as dust.

His soft brown curls and eyelashes stop

people on the street.

Whose angel child is this? they want to know.

When I say, My brother, the people

wear doubt

thick as a cape

until we smile

and the cape falls.


Jacqueline Woodson, "genetics" from Brown Girl Dreaming. Copyright © 2014 by Jacqueline Woodson. Used by permission of Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Source: Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014)

  • Living
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Greenville, South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of over 30 books for children and young adults. Woodson served as the Poetry Foundation's Young People's Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her family. See More By This Poet

More By This Poet

More Poems about Living

Browse poems about Living

More Poems about Relationships

Browse poems about Relationships