Black and white
By Kate Toon
Phillip was a black kid, Johnny he was white.
One was pale as snow the other dark as night.
As little’uns they played outside and didn’t care at all
that they were different colours or that Johnny was quite small.
Phil was good at climbing and Johnny dug good holes.
They scaled the trees for apples and crawled about like moles.
But as the days turned into years and hairy armpits grew,
something seemed to change, as things so often do.
John went to posh school and Phil went to the local.
Phil, he was a quiet soul and Johnny rather vocal.
John’s friends didn’t like Phil, ‘he’s from the wrong side of the track’;
And John, wanting to fit in, didn’t answer back.
Phil started getting picked on, the only black kid in the town.
He held his head up high but the comments brought him down.
They still hung out in secret, playing ‘Fifa’ on the Wii,
but never out in public where Johnny’s friends might see.
Phil was a hard-worker and John didn’t care a lot.
Phil got forms for Uni while his mate was smoking pot.
While one was doing study, the other just got drunker
A law degree on one side on the other, just a flunker.
Phil, he passed the bar with ease while Johnny propped it up.
“Johnny little” they would say “drinks a bucket not a cup.”
And when he got into a fight, no one was that surprised.
The police locked him up in a cell, sick of all his lies.
And irony of ironies it was Phil who got the case.
He specialised in lost causes: at this he was an ace.
Johnny, he got off scot-free, was released that very day.
And when he saw his old mate Phil, he was lost for words to say.
“It’s funny” Johnny’s said to him “the way things seem to be.”
“Who said blacks are disadvantaged? It’s all gone wrong for me.”
“Just shows” said Phil, “it’s not about the colour of your hide”
“It’s what you do that matters, and who you are inside.”
A cheesy little story? A bit too sweet for you?
Black guy triumphs, white guys fails: so very rarely true.
But it’s just a little poem that I wrote while drinking tea.
So when you leave a comment, please don’t be too harsh on me.