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The day the ground Swallowed Me

Unity High School PTA Bazaar Poster 1994 - Taste of South Sudan

Unity High School 1994 PTA Bazaar Ticket

The day the ground swallowed me

 

I showed up to class
I was late
It was not my fault
My journey to school that day
Running a few miles
Waiting for the bus, delayed
Jostling, squeezing my lithe body through
To get to Unity High School
Bumper-to-bumper traffic
The beep beep beep

The seething eyes of my classmates
They did not like my hairstyle
Braided meticulously so
And oiled
In a different setting
A beauty to behold I was
But that day
In that classroom
The contrast
I was a Junubi
And my northern classmates
Made sure I knew the difference

I squeezed between the chairs to my seat
The lesson was English
And my teacher, Mr Treagust
He was white
He was British
Understanding, I thought
I raised my hand and answered a question
And the students
Laughter broke out
Jeering they were
At the moment
I shrank
And the ground swallowed me up
Or so I wished!

Was it my presence?
Was it my boldness?
The fact I showed up
And showed out?
Did they envy my intellect
How could I, a Junubi
Dare join their school
The token white students
Ah they were expatriates
The Asian foreign students
Oh they were loaded
But me
Bereft of wealth and long hair
How dare I
A Junubi
Show up and show out!

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