Bree Scratch Show Video Final Draft

7 Jul

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 away

To new parents who couldn’t understand
Why I didn’t cry, but I’d stopped trying
A long time ago

My parents were white
And had their own kids too
But in a big city
I didn’t notice the colour of my skin
It was never a thing

Then we moved to the country
But I couldn’t sleep without street lamps
And rumblings from cars
To me, all we did was leave a safari to go to a zoo

My first day of school:
Suddenly my skin drew stares
And I was that girl in the ring
But there was no dancing there

Insults like pitchforks flew
From tongues that were too young
To know better
I cried to my mother – all she said was
“Do you want to move schools?”

She could be cold
When I was eight years old
I washed the dishes
And left dirt on one of the plates
She saved it and made me eat off it the next day

I withdrew into a skin that felt like a straitjacket
While most kids were wearing capes
And I was late for my own development

I used to scratch my name in trees
Trying to plant seeds of existence
As if ink would grow roots into a family
But it just felt like someone else’s memories

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

My teachers can’t tell me apart
From anyone with a skin tone
Darker than their own

Friends of friends make racist comments
Before realising I am there
I pretend that I don’t hear
And I wish that I’m not there

I walk around like an apology
Hiding bloodied hands from hitting walls
Because I don’t know how to say
That I’m not ok

I think my parents are colour-blind –
Such a dangerous state of mind
Because not everyone else is
And racism still exists…I exist

But it’s like I’m halfway between here and nowhere
And no-one can see…me


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