Friday, 6 January 2017

Poetry 2017 / 004

Dear Younger Me

It wasn't your fault. You were born
in a different age
by a father raised
by the war,
by nationalism,
by bombs planted on underground trains
in inner-city buses.
Television preached racism by default
Love Thy Neighbour, Rising Damp
and the xenophobia of Dad's Army.
Even Monty Python was devoid of colour
and Dad refused to watch It Ain't Half Hot, Mum
so you watched it in secret,
recorded on Betamax cassettes and
appreciated the inclusion of queer and transgender
(though the terms were never used
and 'difference' was relegated to 'poofter').

It is any wonder you fell in love
with gay boys and trans girls and your freedom
in New English Punk wasn't about racism
but about inclusion – a rejection
of the right wing domination;
of Enoch Powell and I'm Backing Britain,
and the disgust on your father's face
when he found you in bed with that black lad.

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