Skin by Brenda Saunders

He’s suddenly there on a platform at Central.
With a voice like a teacher, he bends to ask.

Where are you going today, my dear?

What is he saying? He’s leaning too close
long teeth, chin, a grey fedora.
I think of red-riding hood, ‘stranger danger’.

Spittle gathers at the edge of his mouth
I say nothing, wondering will he bite?

I’m taking the train to Grandma’s I say.

But we’re not in the woods and I don’t have
a basket, so I show my schoolbag, just in case.

And who are these ladies? he cries even louder,

Watching my Aunties, dark hands holding mine.
He’s eyeing our faces, from one to the other
Waiting in silence, to find an answer.

Everything’s still, but they don’t say a word.
Their eyes look down to the dusty ground.
Searching for something they fear they’ve lost.

As he turns away, he yells to the crowd.

Never can tell with these Abos today,
mixing the blood will lead to disaster.

I don’t understand, but I hear the threat, feel
the pain in familiar faces. I look around
reading the signs. Anxious to find a new way out.


Date: 2014

By: Brenda Saunders (1946- )


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: