Bree SST7 1st Draft Scratch Show

22 Jun
No feed back on this draft please 🙂
From the Outside In
My mother was so young
And my father too white
It was the 80s
And mixed-race families
Were still not “the done thing”My foster mother was a drunk
Who put brandy in my baby milk
That’s why they took me awayA new home and new parents
Who couldn’t understand why I didn’t cry
But I’d stopped trying a long time ago

Now I had brothers that looked a bit like me
They came from another mother too –
Because she was addicted to crack

So we were a big family
My new parents had their own kids too
None of them looked like me
But in a big city, with so many different ethnicities
I didn’t notice the colour of my skin
It was never a thing

Unitl one day my mother wanted
A better life in the countryside
A life away from the crime
That was assumed to be beats away
From taking over our streets

From a city safari to a country zoo
This new home was scarily silent and dark
I couldn’t sleep without the glow from streetlamps
And rumblings from cars

Starting my new school was like
Being dumped in ice water
Insults rained down on me
Like pitchforks flying from tongues
That were too young to know better

“Black bastard”, “n***er”
“Why don’t you go back to your own country”
I kicked one of the boys who called me names
The headmaster said “good on you”. Small victory.

My brothers were old enough to leave
And I didn’t blame them
I would have done the same if I could

But I had no role models
To show me how to cope
I didn’t have the tools
When I cried to my mother all she said was
“Do you want to move schools?”

High school was better
More girls that looked “like me”
But the racism was still there
Just with more subtlety

One of my teachers would always get me and my friend mixed up
Because we were both mixed race –
Even though we looked nothing alike

My history teacher called me a Jew
Just because I said that I didn’t believe in God
I think she meant it as an insult
Thank God she wasn’t teaching religious studies.

Comments about “that darkie”
Before realising that I am there and then
“Well, you’re not even that dark anyway”.

To deny that part of me
Is the same as not accepting me
In my entirety

I walked around like an apology
And I think my parents were colour-blind
Which was a dangerous thing
For me and my identity

The best thing that my mother ever did for me
Was to kick me out when I was 16
Free to leave and roam around
More enlightened places, where racists
Are the exception, not the norm

And I have stopped living my life from the outside in


One Response to “Bree SST7 1st Draft Scratch Show”

  1. mouthypoets June 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    I think this is a really moving piece, it’s personal too you but is also relate able to others, it tells a clear story and I really like it.

    – Rosie

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