I too, am British

A 7 stanza free verse poem about being British. This poems makes light the issue of racism and process of blending into a new world; the struggle to be seen and not be seen.

I too, am British

You look at me as if I am different. Like
I am a slimy little alien, landed
from the depth of outerspace
to borrow your skin, suck your blood,
have your children for dinner.

Your children stare at me, I smile
at them, they hide behind your legs
maybe afraid I might smite them.
They think me different, they think
me not British, me different colours.

You hold them close, patting their
heads like puppies as if
to say, “I’m here, he can’t hurt you.”
You look to me, fire in your eyes
like a mother hen, watching a hawk.

You allri? I say, tilting my head
sounding as non African as I can,
daring you, telling you, proving to you
that I am no hawk, no blue blood
I too, am British.

The proof of my Britishness lies in the blank
taste of raw leaves- competing with goats.
No offence to you and now me
(the sole devourer of green leaves)-
only goats eats what you call salad
where I come from.
I too, am British.

My stomach is swollen with
swallowed alphabets from calling
Southwark, sordock, Leicester – lesta.
I have munched my name into a syllable
I who was “Olanrewaju” is now
the proud “Hola” of today.
I too, am British.

Isn’t it absolutely brilliant that my dictionary, has found new words like cheers, lovely, hayya.
statements such
You alri bruv?
Where about are you?
Slid out of my mouth like slugs.
I’m afraid I now
refer to friends
as mates and bruvs
I too, am British.

So even if my colour remains the same,
I too, am British.
from my twisted tongue,
to the words cascading the
walls of my cheek
and the content of my plate.
Don’t you dare tell me
“go back to where about you came from!”
For I too, Am British.

I too, am British


4 thoughts on “I too, am British

    • Thank you dear Seyi. I am always happy to see your comments, they are filled with incites and are inspiring. Many don’t know what it means to be an immigrant from Nigeria or what it means to find the balance between being British and not so British and being Nigerian and not quite a Nigerian.

  1. Pingback: A Great Britain? | SPICEPLAZA

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