I can see them,
Marie, the leader
A sneer on her face.
Then behind her come
Her five followers.
As soon as I catch sight of them
I feel my long thick plait
Thudding against my back.
I feel my beautiful sari
Flutter to the ground
In the mud.
My mother will not be pleased.
I feel my heart
Beat in my skinny chest.
I run in time with my heartbeat.
It will keep me going.
It will keep me running.
Running away from them.
I can't help being black.
And I've told them that,
But they don't care.
They don't care about anyone.
Everyone keeps away from Marie.
Even the teachers
As she parades down the corridors,
Her head held high.
But at school,
Everyone keeps away from me too.
As I run
Turn to face Marie.
"Leave me alone!"
She looks shocked.
I place my sandalled feet
As I look at Marie,
She doesn't look big at all.
And I feel great,
I feel ever so tall.
I see Marie's five followers
"Let's go," Marie grunts.
To my surprise
They all turn
I walk back to pick up my dirty sari, flinging it over my shoulder.
And I start to trudge home
As if nothing has happened.
As if nothing has changed.
But something has changed.
by Chantal de Prez, P7, St Peter's Primary, Edinburgh
The Blue Girl
I see the other kids stare at her,
I don't blame them - I do too.
You see, she's very different from everyone else
Because, well, she's blue.
Colour does not make any difference
To who we are inside.
The Blue Girl knows this too, I'm sure,
For she does not hide.
She's brave and she's proud of who she is
And doesn't seem to care what others think.
When they first bullied her and made fun of her,
She'd just stand there, smile and blink ...
Blink away her tears at their ignorance
Of the fact that colour does not matter.
Everyone's practically the same inside;
Under the surface, we are all so similar.
For no-one is so different, after all, we're all human,
Everyone thinks, and feels, and lives ...
If Racism has been banished from The Blue Girl's World,
Why do we allow it to exist?
by Pooja Mehta, S3, Eastwood High, East Renfrewshire
I am drowning
In a sea of judgement
Swallowing me up at first glance
Not seeing anything more
Than what's on the outside
Ignoring what's inside
If you took the time
You would see
I am similar to you
I am a person too
Maybe I have feelings
You will realise
It is hard
Hard to breathe
Under your sea
I can be broken too.
by Laura Jack, S3, St Columba's High, Inverclyde
Alien in the Corner
"Look mum, there's an alien in the corner."
Have they started a space theme this year?
I didn't see any bright metallic clothes in Cosmopolitan last week.
"Mum, you see it ...
... in the corner."
"If you say so, dear."
"Mum, it's wearing a black bin bag on its head."
Black bin bag, black bin bag, it's a nikab, not a bin bag!
"Do you think it doesn't want us to see it?"
It's not that I don't want you to see me,
I've got to cover up when I go out,
It's part of my religion.
"Mum, it's got blue eyes just like mine."
Of course I've got blue eyes,
What colour did you expect them to be?
Lilac polka dots!
"Mum, it's looking at pink sparkly T-shirts!"
Why can't I?
Am I not allowed?
I'm just as into fashion as you.
"Mum, why is it looking at pink sparkly T-shirts?"
Do you think it's going to a party?
Do aliens go to parties, Mum?"
I'm shopping for the Eid party tomorrow
To celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Anyway, I am NOT an alien
I'm just like you,
I'll show you ...
"Hope you find something nice."
"MUM, THE ALIEN CAN TALK!"
by Amy Henderson, Sl, Thurso High, Highland
Are you a Racist?
Is there a racist in your school?
Or do you make it your first rule
To make sure your friends don't judge by race
And are equal to those with a different face
Is there a racist in your class?
The one who's horrible to you in maths?
Yes that one who called you names
And said it was all in the name of games
Is there a racist in your home?
The one who shouts abuse down the phone?
It happens when your friends come to stay
And all you wish is that they'd go away
Is this the day we take a stand?
And fight for the equal woman and man
No matter what colour,
No matter what race
After all it's what's underneath the face
That cries and feels all alone
Even though it is their home
And it's the racist who should feel ashamed
Not the victim hurt and pained
ARE YOU A RACIST?
by Laura MacCallum, Lochaber High, Highland
Hatred under wraps 28-29