White Child Meets Black Man by James Berry

She caught me outside a London
Suburban shop, I, like a giraffe
And she a mouse. I tried to go
But felt she stood
Lovely as light on my back

I turned with hello
And waited. Her eyes got
Wider but not her lips.
Hello I smiled again and watched.

She stepped around me
Slowly, in a kind of dance,
Her wide eyes searching
Inch by inch up and down:
No fur no scales no feathers
No shell. Just a live silhouette,
Wild and strange

And compulsive
Till mother came horrified

‘Mummy is his tummy black?’
Mother grasped her and swung
Toward the crowd. She tangled
Mother’s legs looking back at me
As I watched them birds were singing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *