It started out as something
Someone wrote on Facebook
A status update
Intended to be profound
For a moment.
For a meme.
And tide-like they swept
The comments below,
The wave of unease
Over sharp pebbles of rage
Where black and white
Can only ever be people
Whose common red blood
Cannot be used to unify.
This is only the small world
The cruel world
The world of acute and random difference.
Sometimes I dream
In shades of black and white
Beyond history or pain.
My laptop bag, grimy with use,
My coffee is black.
My dog is black. And the other is brown,
But the one we are talking about is black.
He has irritable bowel syndrome and despises
Mr Hartley across the road.
The blood blister under my fingernail
Where I caught it in your car door
After we screamed is black.
The screen on my battery flat phone
Is impenetrably black.
My socks are white.
In some countries this means something
By people who probably also know
The difference in colours of people.
A straw always comes in white paper
As thin as the skin on my late father’s arms.
Someone would have written that he was white
But, as he died, his arms were all the colours.