Hey! My name is Rheanna And I’m Mia. At school I’d play footy with the boys, Instead of playing with the classic girly toys. And if I was too good for their masculine pride, They’d point and yell, Saying, 'piss off you dyke', Until I’d run off with my fists all tight, Saying to myself it’s ok, you’re alright, They’re lucky you’re not in the mood for a fight, But inside I was scared, Because out there I didn’t think anyone cared, As though at night there was no one to hand me the light, And as though every minute of every day I was suffering from stage fright, Because in a world where everything is seen as black and white, I felt like my heart was painted too many colours to be right, In primary school, I was in the minority. A small brown girl of 6, I believed I was inferiority I had two best friends, blue eyes, skin as fair as snow I saw them as gods of perfection, but little did I know Consumed by the need to become ‘beautiful’, I was so attached So I began to itch and scratch My arms, my legs, my face and hands Thinking that it was the answer, it was my plan To peel away my brown pigment Seeing the brown replaced by white replaced by red I knew that perfection was just a figment I needed to stop before I bled Innocent girl of 6, Believing that if I did it enough I would become fixed For the past few years my pa hasn’t really been “around”, To be honest I’m surprised that by now he hasn’t drowned, In a pool of alcohol, drugs and depression, But don’t worry, I say, it’s just an expression, Just my mind denying that it needs confession, To admit to the aggression, That I feel towards him, I’d rather treat my mind to suppression, But I still beg to you the question, Are we so different? Two years back, I was yelled at Public space, on a tram I was called ‘a curry munching idiot’, yes that But no one else gave a damn And that killed me inside When he yelled ‘go back to where you came from’ ‘We don’t want you here’, I swear part of me died Not that his screaming hate was far from done But that no one came to stand by my side See all these stories are facts of my past And I’d be lying if I said that I don’t love my battle scars Because look at me, I’ve made it this far I look out to everyone here, knowing that despite how we appear, We’re all just suffocating in the same atmosphere, We’re all just trying to ignore the fact that within these walls, There’s enough mental illness to fill these halls, We’re all in the same rickety boat, all trying to stay afloat Because unlike most diseases, the stuff in our heads has no antidote So maybe rather than trying to intoxicate each other with judgement and hate Let's look behind the masks, since we’re all really just a part of the same race. This poem was created and performed by students as part of OutLoud Eco!Slam 2019.
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