This is quite a simple poem which uses the connotations of ‘colour’ to tackle both racial and LGBTQ+. discrimination. The metaphor of the ‘paper’ represents the vulnerability of these groups to the bigotry of others, and the severity of the physical, mental, and emotional harm it can cause. I hope that this poem encapsulates the arbitrary nature, and the total nonsensicality, of discrimination.
When you see coloured paper,
You don’t make it feel shame.
On paper, you like colours
But humans aren’t the same.
You pick and choose your paper,
You pick and choose your friends,
But when it comes to colour,
They’re very different trends.
Cutting paper is useful,
Cutting people is cruel,
But when it comes to colour, why
Is there a different rule?
The cuts are cut much deeper
Than coloured-paper thin
But cuts are the same colour
When they’re cut in coloured skin…
Image: Courtesy of Charlize Spriggs