Poem: This skin

Poem: This skin

If I stay out in the sun long enough

Can the red hide the pain of past injustices?

If I poke my head over an electrified walled property on the slopes of Camps Bay

Will the green be enough to disguise my own wealth I struggle to even keep track of?

If I host a sad movie marathon with tales of war, missed out romance and dying people

Might the blue cover over my own culpability in allowing this country to remain so unchanged?

If I focus on what might happen in South Africa if people of colour finally lose patience and grace

Is there the possibility the yellow would help protect me from the actualisation of my fears?


But no, despite the emotional rainbow that helps me paint an outward picture of inner turmoil

I am white.

This privileged, elevated, revered, prejudiced, complicit, symbolic skin is not easily disguised.

Having spent centuries ensuring that whiteness is the pendulum upon which this planet spins

I cannot in a moment choose to turn my back and walk away

Or dissociate myself from all of the soiled legacy that is literally at my very fingertips.


I cannot hide it.

I am unable to hide from it.

If I could I would likely shed it to the floor and step out

Unhindered, unjudged, uncategorised, undefined.


But this skin is mine.

To wear one way or another.

And though it is not possible for me to leave the legacy of the past behaviour of this skin behind.

There may just be enough space and time for me to be the smallest part of creating

A new, unencumbered future where my skin has helped knock whiteness itself

Off of the podium

And then stepped into the shadows to watch an array of the richest of colours melting beautifully and so powerfully towards the stage.

By |2017-11-14T09:17:17+00:00November 14th, 2017|pain and Hope, poems and other creativity, race vibes|0 Comments

About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.

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