Poetry

Minority within the minority

Squeaking of the whiteboard
Smacking of chewing gum
Scratching of pens
My thoughts recede

I peer down onto a pool of memories
Small fragments of forgotten thoughts
Dripping slowly into my consciousness
Threatening to break

Hala bandor

My skin is pierced by loathing cracks
Pulling my eyes to their scrutiny
Cheeks being torn away by grins
Teeth gleaming a venom yellow

Hala bandor

As if they hammered me down
My back contorts
Carrying the weight of their words
A nomad, a stranger in my uniform
Climbing up the spines of education

Hala bandor, black monkey, I think

A precise wooden stare
Crafted by the hands of an artisan
Chipped onto my tutors face
Dismissing the disease of racism
Because it was “too late”

My thoughts forward
Forward to a time where balls of fat occupied small faces
And innocent smiles were graced with laughter

Slave, aren’t you a slave

As if the struggle had been in vain
Mahogany eyes set to the distaste
Of laboured history
Placed heavily on the other side of her name

A crescendo of voices battle
One captive to both
Melanoid and silver chains
The other serving to the silence of ignorance

Young, angry, defensive faces
Meets that of our educator
Slaps of heavy heels hit the ground
Dragging with her the whispers of the enslaved

Rumours transfuse through the gateways of shock absorbent minds
Parents will be called in
Where half truths will be told

All to end with a simple verdict
Internal exclusion
As if to say the guilty are safe
Cradled in bubbles, thick with praise and acceptance
Of those to ready to neglect racism

Now we travel to the present
Where the squeaking, smacking, scratching of the classroom
Knocks me back into the ringing of my name
Where my eyes shoot to my comrades, my sisters

Who had to suffer through years of being shunned
As if the crate of sounds
Modified by dialects and languages
Had not found a way to trap our minds
Through paranoia, shame and solitude

Concealed calmly by the people
Who are meant to represent, protect and care for us
We were hidden
Under a translucent veil
Painted by our captors themselves

Hushed by a dominant hand
We were hidden
Ordered to smile in snapshots

We were hidden

Until our glazed porcelain faces
Held our manufactured eyes
Our smiles dyed with immortality

From slave camps to sweatshops
We’re plagued with our past
Infecting our present, so you tell me
What’s the majority without the minority?