Thursday, February 7, 2008

Otherness

I remember the fifties
staring at the black sailor
in his bell-bottom trousers
and his fuck you saunter
down the wharf end of Queen Street.

Don't stare! said mother,
bending her head so
she could peep unseen
from under the brim
of her going-to-town hat.

And by the way,
don't call him black
it's not nice to comment
on a person's skin colour.

Those were the days
when curry was mince,
veggies and sultanas in
a yellow sauce made
from a tin labeled
hot or mild
though it never tasted
like the strange cooking smells
from the back of the
Indian greengrocer's shop.

These days there's
a rich mix of cultures
and ethnicities;
there's a restaurant
for every one
except the English.

But sometimes,
just sometimes,
I miss the surprise,
the excitement,
the strange otherness
of the foreign and exotic.

1 comment:

kate5kiwis said...

i love every word cally X