At nursery it did not matter
that my skin was brown,
that my hair was curly.
My best friend was called Geoffrey.
We sat side by side in the classroom,
painted our pictures together,
either side of the same easel.
At playtime we played running games.
He always won.
I never got invited to his house,
and he never came to mine.
Our mums never spoke at the gates.
Their smiles were not real smiles.
One day he did not come to school.
I watched the gates through the window.
I never saw him again.
Mum said 'Ask the teacher', but I didn't.
I never had another friend like Geoffrey.
Little Brown Girl
First published by Morgan's Eye Press 2016