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Sep 2019
I walk in and three heads turn around
They look me up and they look me back down.
It’s like they’ve never seen a brown girl
On this side of town.

It makes me uncomfortable enough
To want to walk back out that door
But then again I’m in Beverley
And dressed like a bit of a *****.

It seems I’m the only brown girl
Here for another mile
So walking into a pub
Kinda feels like I’m standing on trial.

Their eyes meet mine
But they do not smile
Their looks feel cold
As if they’ve just been told

A dodgy secret about me
And they’re trying to suss out if it’s true.
Even though you hold my hand as we walk through
I feel a distance between me and you.

You tell me that they probably think I’m pretty
But why is it that I suddenly feel ******?
It didn’t look like admiration in their eye
But I brush it off with a sad sigh

I don’t bring it up for the rest of the night
But if looks could bite
These men could’ve given me rabies
But now you’ve rattled me with maybes

‘Cos maybe they want me to have their babies
(Which is a gross enough thought in itself)
But no, I pull my suspicions from the shelf
I can’t deny the wary nature of myself

Because maybe it’s a subtle stealth -
Beer by beer a racist’s inhibitions fall
My brown skin a matchstick
To their flammable racist shawl

I avoid their eyes
But feel their’s burning into my back
I am on edge and ready
Waiting for their attack.

But in the same breath
I am showered with compliments
Some of your friends tell me I’m beautiful
And that they’re glad we’re suitable.

I’m in a pub - I shouldn’t be feeling perpetual doom!
I try to focus but he still stares at me from the bar
He’s at the other end of the room
Yet it doesn’t feel all that far.

People talk to me but I barely hear
What is being said
Because a new question runs
Through my pretty brown head

It clouds my judgment
And leaves my view distorted:
Does he think I'm pretty
Or does he just want me deported?
Written by
Jemima Mitra
304
 
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