The Shawl

This is a true tale from a Stockholm bus:

My friend in usual Monday grayish mood

No not the best of days, to say the least

But then again you must endure and wrap

yourself in sparks and larks, her daughter´s Pa-

lestinian shawl, a black and pink one, like

all teenies wear, if you yourself feel gray

then borrow feathers from another bird!


But anyway, here comes this man with wife

behind, he passes by and turns around

and pukes out loud for all to hear, how vile!

That shawl must be the ugliest on earth!

In such a situation, what to do?

In half a second it will be too late

to give some mouth, but dignity, at least,

you must retain and he shall not escape

or get away with this along with wife

pretending nought to see and nought to hear


Now turn your heads around, the pair of you,

thought Anna, for that is her real name,

my friend who was exposed to such a pig.

She stares for minutes at him and his wife,

they´re seemingly of upper middle class,

well mannered, church of Sweden, with exams

from upper middle colleges, consul-

tants, tenants, two point eighteen kids,

they know exactly what is proper, what

is out of order between people, but

perhaps their day was also bad, their son

had got himself expelled, became a ter-

rorist, set fire to headmaster´s wig...


Well then you may just understand this man

to be uncomfortable seeing a shawl

of Palestinian fashion and the one

who wears it has to carry all the blame

be smeared in puke and xenophobia

There always is an explanation, now

she softly  looks again, feeling like Je-

sus, almost, carrying this pair´s suffering

upon herself, (as if she didn´t have

enough of it) But now he cannot stand

the sight of Anna´s mild and querying eyes

trying to share a thought with these poor two.


His features crack, distort, his evil child

within appears, he shrinks, becomes the age of two

sticks out his tongue and sneers a Boo!


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