This is a piece written about taking my Nigerian girlfriend to the remote and very ‘English’ village where I lived back in 1979
Home Grown Refugee
In a place where white is historically the norm
face of colour was brought although still born…
in the same country, here she was delivered,
to a place where faces frowned and sentiments shivered.
Feelings hidden, forced smiles slice forward
while onlookers take an all too obvious step backward,
Although people are just that, just people,
She finds herself excluded, a social cripple.
Faces stare showing gross disappointment,
and sensitivity falls well short of warmth or compliment.
Only one stands up for this wrongly excluded,
And tries to point out the pain of hate to the deluded.
Forced to justify her race, her colour and even creed,
It’s like a trial, you cringe, and your ears almost bleed.
It’s hard to believe this face of colour could be so cast down,
Not quite cast out but a refugee still, only home-grown here born.
Can we ever see past skins of a different pallor?
What does it matter, the faith of the wearer?
Who is so much better to make a discriminatory judgment?
Where can this terrifying difference find positive evolvement?
Eventually accepted, she in general, but not specific,
Life is tolerable, maybe acceptable, but somehow peripatetic,
Often referred to as the dark one, ha, sometimes the chocolate beauty,
But underlying the smiles still her difference, sits awkward and acutely.