It should be rather easy to read one's own small mind.
After all, surprises must be very hard to find.
But how well do we know ourselves when all is said and done?
Here I am in Rhodesia, underneath an African sun.
It was the nineteen fifties so I was in my prime.
I'd escaped from London and was having a great old time.
But I can't remember my thoughts that day, however much I try.
I can only imagine them as the years go by.
We stopped the car on the dusty road to take a photograph.
Bill, I think his name was, tried to make these children laugh.
But they were rather solemn; after all, we two were white,
And seeing us in the village gave these toddlers quite a fright.
I'd like to think I greeted them as equals, but just younger;
I'd like to think I hoped that they felt neither fear nor hunger.
But all I'm certain of is that I belonged to 'a master race'
Merely because England was such a very special place.
I'd left behind a country still reeling from a war,
But the feeling of greatness had started long before.
As a child I'd been shown an Atlas with much of it coloured pink,
Indicating Our Empire. Well, what was I to think?
I know that I felt kindness, for I thought the children 'sweet',
Almost little dark-skinned 'pets' that I'd been glad to meet.
There was no cruelty in me; I'd never hurt a fly,
But I never thought to question about the reason why,
Why some were rich and some were poor; it was just the way things were
And living as they did was something 'Africans prefer.'
Of course, things look so different now and I should feel ashamed
But I was a product of society so ought not to be blamed.
From a MAD KANE suggestion
A fellow I tried to ignore
Came and threw himself down on my floor.
He said 'Please adore me!'
I said 'No! You bore me!'
And then kicked him right out the door.
That is the problem, isn't it. We're all born into a society, Africans alike, when the brainwashing begins before we know it. We can only begin to grow away from it if we find ourselves in the right place at the right time for recognizing and reacting to what we see as the truth for ourselves. By which time it is often too late! Se la vie as you so well versify!
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