Tuesday, 16 February 2010


She spoke English to alienate us
We spoke back in Shona
Voices laced in adniration. Fascination.
How could one as black us.
Young as us. Speak so white?
Pearls spilling out of her mouth.
She wanted nothing to do with us
We wanted all to do with her father's money.
Eat lunch after school in fancy restaurants
Have ice cream after each meal & Barbies to behead
Knowing Mama would but new ones anyway,
Birthday presents from the President
Because were best friends with his kids.
She never joined in our streetgames
But sat by the portholed roadside
Watching. Pretty face marred with disdain.
We almost broke legs in competition
For her friendship and attention
Just so we could impress her.

She frowned at our barefeet,
Dry skinned heels adorned with deep cracks.
She wore American clothes.
Our mothers made ours.
We would marvel at her All Stars.
After all we could only afford North Stars.
Before she came we hardly ever noticed
Our homemade garments, ashy knees & nappy hair.
She breezed in on her high horse: Daddy's Benz
Lotioned skin, store bought clothes
Chemically boiled hair & an English accent.
She made us look poor. Feel poor.
Us children of whote collar professionals.
We didn't realise that private school
Didn't crown her more intelligent.
It just opened her to a wider world
One we only experienced on black & white TV screens.

The grass is always greener.
So blinded were we with envy
We failed to see hers.


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