An Apple For Lunch

The days were like chocolate without milk: dark and bitter

Mum was ill in hospital

I was living with granny

And school was too much to cope with.

Sole brown boy against a backdrop of 100 faces pale

I just wanted a steady pop beat to bounce to:

Boom Boom Bap:  “Come on let’s play football”,

But it was all jazz music to me- I never knew what I’d hear next:

“Paki”!

“Fudge-face”!

“Curry Bum”!

I just wanted to grow up and get out of that place overnight…

But first I had to get through lunchtime.

I begged granny:

“Can’t I have school dinners please”

But she wouldn’t have me eating ham and peas

I just wanted to fit in, even if with a squeeze

So I pleaded “They also serve macaroni and cheese”.

“Food like that with no spice will drain all colour from your face”…

But that’s exactly what I wanted.

So I’d sit alone in the canteen corner, open my lunch box and munch away the

Solitude

On Monday’s I’d have fried egg yolk dripping down my chin

Tuesday’s: the smell of fried cumin seeds exploding from my bum

Wednesdays , Thursday’s and Fridays? I’d be too scared to open the lunch box:

the more granny loved me, the tastier the food but also the stronger the smell

and the worse my lunchtime hell.

The Bully Boys loved the smell of curry;

But not when its source was my flatulence!

So I was the only boy in school

Hoping all he’d get

Was an apple for lunch.

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