A Pointy Reckoning

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A Pointy Reckoning

 

She had blonde hair

and beautiful, blue, eyes

and these were far more

Innocent times.

Comprehensive,

seventy six,

before we left

for adulthood.

 

I was seventeen

and made to look fifty,

she was a year younger

and made to look black.

 

In a school

in West Yorkshire

we had no black girls

in the sixth form

and the only willing wench

to hold her hand up

was lovely Heather.

 

So they applied grey

to my temples

and tied my mullet

back into a pony tale -

but spent much longer

smoothing in

the dark make up

to her hands and face.

 

This was art,

you see,

not Black And White Minstrels

art

and if it’s good enough

for Olivier

it’s good enough

for her.

 

But we felt the stirrings

of discomfort even then.

 

It was a reflection of the times,

nothing much changes -

(black) girl on her knees

before dominant men-boys.

 

But we were only acting.

Acting out a metaphor

for Communism.

 

That’s what they told us.

That’s what they said.

That’s how they justified

the parts we played.

 

The subtext

of our predicament

was Miller-esque

and, looking back now,

that subtext

is stronger than

originally meant.

 

No Black Girls

In A Yorkshire School

In Nineteen Seventy Six!

 

Perhaps

times have moved on

for the best.

Anti-communismArthur MillerGenderlessons learnedRaceThe CrucibleTituba

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Comments

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Tommy Carroll

Mon 16th May 2016 18:31

Very conversational or rather a statement during a conversation. Maybe I meant to say relaxed. Tommy

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Laura Taylor

Wed 11th May 2016 13:27

The title keeps making me laugh!

Subject matter though, I hear ya. Great story.

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Harry O'Neill

Tue 10th May 2016 21:53

The process of acclimatisation moves inexorably on Ian,

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