John McKay Withey
Right Colour Wrong Race. - Poem by John McKay Withey
Tight curly hair, fringing beautiful dark eyes,
Born of white parents, you were a surprise.
Your skin so brown for all to see,
Born during apartheid, shunned you'd be.
Your destiny was set from previous times,
Children at school sung unflattering rhymes.
Your family were often shunned in the street,
Believing your mother, an adulterous cheat.
You could talk more freely to a black than a white,
To which your father said 'It was not right'.
And with hormones raging you started an affair,
To a black man your first child you'd bare.
Your father disowned you to your great dismay,
'Mixing the races is illegal' he would say.
So your parents left you to suffer your fate,
Your father passed away still nursing his hate.
Covered in bruises from an abusive husband you fled,
Into hospital you were taken, to a home your children led,
Where they had to remain for nine long years,
Before the welfare system stopped your tears.
After sixteen years, your mother was traced,
Begging forgiveness, your fear was misplaced.
Your mother always loved you, you were never a disgrace,
You were born in a family, divided by race.
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