Wednesday, 2 July 2014

I am beautiful, orange




On a bus
Straight to town
A little girl
Her grandmother, grandiose
Asks her: What’s your favourite colour, Blue?
Answers her own question with: Oh I do not like yellow
-each word juddering like the bus
And: I hate orange – as if she could spit the colour out

Still on the bus
Now straight in the town
To a shoe shop bus-stopped
In front, a woman waits in a dress
Pithy, its colour a bright orange zest
An orange that grates
Now that grandmother has infected my sense of taste
Its orange, impossibly so
Reflecting no cellulite texture
Orange and tasteless with the pips spat out

But grandma cries out loudly
“Oh, but what a beautiful dress!
Look, dear, see! She has a beautiful dress on!
Oh my, can you see dear, what a beautiful dress, look!”
It’s so orange, it is hardly a dress
Surely anyone can see that?
But she really can’t stop herself now
Pulping her fictive interest

For a granddaughter who I am not sure
Likes orange, or yellow, shoe shops or dresses
Or even her grandmother come to think of it
With her fatuous opinions designed to squash and remove her
But you hate this colour, I want to say
I feel angry, betrayed
For the granddaughter behind me squeezed out and mute
with the grandmother who spits colour all over the shop

The bus drives on, the orange walks away
Both leaving the town centre
A girl’s expectations pared down
Sits patiently as colour slowly exits the bus
Exhausted fumes of orange, yellow and blue
It’s not colours she likes, no, it is catching her own reflection
In shoe shop windows,
But now there are just houses,
‘So I must no longer be here’, a vague idea
The bus journey now interrupted by traffic lights green, orange,
stop.

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