Rebecca Watson

Home Town Crook

Manipulating something pure and beautiful until it turns black and blue,
Grappling fingers tear: indignant, persistent.
Corrupted again and again by the atrocious actions of a few,
Like it has in history so many times before-
Until your very presence in your home town is a declaration of war.

Sideways glances on the tube and disdainful stares-
Like you are about to pull out a semi-automatic from your pocket book, then and there.
Your heart beats like a ticking bomb beneath your coat-
And you find yourself praying to Allah that your family get home safe walking home from work.

Every morning you dread switching on the news-
To see a serial killer in a martyr’s shirt,
Quoting from scripture he did not have the dedication to learn,
And dying for a cause spread by Chinese whispers emanated from a mad man’s lips.

Generalisation is the worst form of injustice-
To feed the ignorance which has manifested itself so deep,
Fuelling the misguided hate till they hate you to the bone.
But his bones are the same colour as yours-
You have the same accent-
You are from the same home town.

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