Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

Getting All Mixed Up While Filling In The Census Form

It’s that time again.

Time to break my arms and legs,

let myself fit neatly and uncomfortably into the ethnicity box on a form.

For many years,

I’ve ummed and ahhed about how all the stars in the sky that fell down and created my human form can be categorised.

Brown eyes that have been to many continents,

rambunctious round strands of her that won’t sit down, because these curls have tales,

things to tell you, that you wouldn’t believe.

A skilled tongue, that pleases everyone she meets, in many languages (okay, three and a half), so what do I call her?

Which box do I tick?

My nose is thick and prominent,

once marked for surgery but now begrudgingly accepted,

but I don’t know how to tell the census that I’m not sure if she came from my Mum or my Dad.

My pen is staring up at me,

not knowing what to make of me,

and I am staring back,

with a varied background,

not knowing what to make of me either.

Once again, I am not English, apparently,

because the form says that is only for whites,

and I’m only half right for the red and white flag,

so down the form I go,

to the land of minority ethnics and mullatos.

What the fuck will my kids tick?

I suppose it depends on who I fuck,

and how many drops of their grandfather find their way into their blood from mine.

Shall I curse them to endless umming and ahhing at presumptuous and preclusive boxes,

or will their road be easier, brighter and white passing?

It’s just a form, I suppose.

Just a box ticking exercise,

so I shouldn’t think about it too much,

because I don’t have time for an identity crisis today,

but I am a map, with many pins,

and this is a small box, with a small mind,

that isn’t ready for someone like me.

I don’t think it will ever be ready for someone like me.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, politics, Writing

Black Girls In The White House

Back seat of the car,

I had almost forgotten that history was underway,

parked up by Asda,

thinking about strawberry laces,

while a race came to an end,

a race that was tied up in race,.

Breaking news on every station.

Hope had won!

That’s what they said anyway.

My grandad had it on the radio,

a calm voice,

that sounded like it wanted to shout,

but was restrained,

just as it had been trained.

Hope had won,

and I didn’t realise that I cared before,

but my grandad turned to the back seat,

where I was waiting for my compass to guide me.

My compass smiled,

said that a man just like me had won,

that hope had won,

that warring sides had found some peace,

found themselves in a man who had the best of both of them.

I smiled too,

on a path to understanding,

on a clear path,

where roses grew of all colours,

free and friendly,

stems embracing as I walked by.

The world was a rainbow,

the war was over,

a black and white man had won the White House,

and a black and white girl had heard about it,

from thousands of miles away,

and she felt so accomplished,

so ready to accomplish.

Of course,

that wasn’t the end of the story.

It never is,

never could be.

The roses died,

the path twisted and turned,

lights went out,

wars found a second wind,

and the rainbows faded.

My compass tried to guide me,

but I stopped believing,

wandering aimlessly,

trying to find that moment again,

when I felt like people would understand me,

even accept me,

and the world would be less hectic,

but it never came.

The story continues.

Today,

there are more girls like me,

seeing confetti fall down on a black Vice President,

a female black Vice President,

fought for by black women,

the leaders,

who are never listened to,

and we have another chance,

to let roses grow,

along clear paths,

for black girls to walk towards beautiful,

powerful images of themselves.

Let those girls see the confetti,

hide their excited eyes from the death threats that fall among it,

let them see the confetti,

and know that a path exists for them too.

Let them see the confetti,

don’t let them see the way the world tries to devour and destroy them,

just for tonight,

let them see the confetti,

let them see themselves at that desk.

Black girls in the White House.

Posted in Blog

The Half Blood Princess

The sunrise and the sunset,

swirling above the clouds in the skyline,

daughter of two warring tribes,

half blood princess,

a patchwork blanket that will never be finished.

There is conflict in my skin,

and the many mannerisms I stole from the two that built me.

Two,

going on a great adventure,

but growing impatient,

with how slowly pages turn,

and how the cycles around the sun are unpredictable.

I was once impossible,

illegal,

but I am the end of war,

for the brief moments that they remember,

how happy my arrival made them.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

Englishness

Can a dog born in a stable,

call itself a horse?

I call myself the name,

that my English mother gave me,

and I arrived to an audience,

of doctors and nurses.

The NHS is in a state,

but they’re not dragging babies out in stables,

yet,

so am I a dog,

or a horse,

or a swallow,

singing arias,

on the way out of the sea of scrubs and sedatives?

It always turns out,

that an English mother,

a name my teachers could pronounce,

fluency,

in what is,

if we’re being honest,

an ugly language,

and several years of taxes,

do not count,

because,

it doesn’t matter what you put in,

how you change,

or what you take out,

some people are marked,

faded ink on a passport,

but still visible,

to armchair border force guards.

I never thought of myself as a dog,

or a horse,

I haven’t enough legs to be either,

and I tried not to be so bothered,

finding home,

far away,

where the other half of my heart,

and DNA lies,

but it was a lie,

a fiction I felt in every inch of my unclaimed,

unwanted soul.

Abandoned,

by a parent,

who feels no sense of duty,

and no sense of shame,

who tells me to assimilate,

and then tells me to fuck off,

back to the stable of shame,

pinning a tail on the donkey,

then pulling it off,

over and over,

until I scream

“Fine.

I’m a dog.

I’m a horse.

I’m not here,

but I am,

but I’ll go.”

And the stable is full of people,

blinking,

blinded by confusion,

talking quietly among themselves,

not one of them the same,

because nobody is,

no matter how much you close your eyes,

to blur the lines,

that form your entire identity.

We are all people,

crammed into a stable,

on an island,

on a planet,

that is dying,

so does it really matter,

if I call myself a dog,

or a horse,

or by the name my English mother gave me?