Walking with my black friend,
It doesn’t happen every day.
From the same kind of background
he’s so “different” and “exciting”
In that dangerous way.

My black friend’s unwelcome at all polite places
Or in meetings at offices
And at the functions where listening is “easy”
And piped into nice spaces.

My black friend – him and I – we have history
That covers our schooldays
and tinted our teen years
and made me forgetful
and scared off my feelings.
He’s a best-hidden secret
Disguised and imprisoned
Avoiding the scorn
of our impressionable peers.

I took steps to avoid him
Changed jobs and careers
Hid all his details
denied his existence.
But despite my efforts
he found me
You must admire his persistence!

He met me at work
some time back
And shocked all my colleagues
(They didn’t know he was black).

He said the wrong thing
In an attempt to amuse
Which backfired terribly
A result of the booze.

After, things deteriorated
and he became more perverse
forcing me to take steps
to ignore him
– he just acted worse.

So we both sought counselling
To fix the big split
But mistakenly selected
A prejudiced git
With the only suggestion,
well meaning I’m sure:
to take stronger drugs
And to learn to ignore
The black man who tracks
Me at work and stands
Looking soulful
at my closely-locked door
which he cannot go through

He presses home his opinions
However extreme or innate
And encourages me to feelings
Full of bile and pure hate.

But perhaps with this confessor
My black friend and I
We should have been honest
More open and true
And told the full story
Of a life coloured blue
With a useless black partner
And a man lost to age
And a request for deliverance
That fills up the page
Long lost, unread
Which started its journey
inside my head.

We tried an arrangement,
my black man and I
and went off without saying
A word of goodbye.
And for a long time,
I alone ruled
And everything was “cushty”
“Even stevens”
It was “cool”.

That is ’til just recent
A chance event brought along
The circumstances needed
For his return, to belong.
He’s sitting here typing
Whilst I watch from behind
Those black man’s eyes
A cowardly witness to crime.

To those of you reading
And decrying the words
with political correctness
and observational verve
you’re missing the bleeding
and the intellectual burn
of a dysfunctional,

And in a way that’s the point,
If you’re looking for reason,
That perhaps it’s time
For a black friend season
When with help in a manner
Which borders on murder
Your brain commits crimes
Of unspeakable glamour
With a depth and a character
Too bold to be useful
To a black mannered mood
That becomes utterly crucial.

Leave a Reply