Black Lives Matter, and are in danger, in the UK as well as the US.
Here is my poem in memory of Belly Mujimba, who died after being spat at by a man who claimed to have Covid-19. The British Transport Police said there was no case to answer, but under pressure have now referred it to the Crown Prosecution Service.
i.m. Belly Mujimba
It was a morning of simplicity and fear.
The light woke
a few minutes earlier, stretched its wings.
Coffee relaxed in the arms of boiling water,
released its scent to the room where a teenager
sang a new tune.
In the shower the water caught and released rainbows.
A man filled his pockets
a wallet a travelcard some change a phone.
A woman was brushing down her work jacket.
Out on the street buses with half a dozen
faces in masks. Delivery vans. Few cars.
It was a day of normality and fear.
The light filtered itself across the tiled
floors of the station. The names of small towns floated
like dust in a streak of sun and disappeared.
No, it wasn’t the daylight that insisted
they meet that morning,
not day but fear,
stealthily, from the cold of the small hours,
stilling its trembling, fear
brought the busy man
to the woman anxious efficient in uniform,
anger and fear
hand in hand for courage, chanting
it’s only a woman
only a woman in company uniform,
a Black woman.
He gives breath and spit to his anger
wipes its mouth, sets off,
take-away coffee, free newspaper.
follows him from the station,
turns, sees her weeping.
a few minutes early again.
The man cleaned his teeth,
drank coffee. What is he saying
to his colleagues this morning,
as the policewoman stares at the CCTV footage,
as the teenage girl
in her aunt’s flat now, turns in her bed and hears
the radio recounting
her mother’s death.
Welcome to my website. I write poetry, novels and short stories, and non-fiction. You can find details here of my published work, and sample poems and extracts. Go to the poetry page for details of my latest books, Downpour and Rubaiyat for the Martyrs of Two Wars.
(I also work as a funeral celebrant. My other website, www.thewhitechair.co.uk will give you more information).