It was hard to imagine
the mysterious ways
in which it all belonged to us.
Miss Jackson pointed with her fussy stick,
picked all the red bits round the world,
which were some how ours yet weren’t.
“And we all must certainly bless the queen.”
'Cos we were obscenely incapable
of looking after it ourselves,
being total twerps,
so she did that work for us.
I used to raise my vest
like a flag in the night
searching for a mess of red blotches,
so I could start to feel at the heart of it.
The only time I saw with pride,
those marks against my pale pink side,
I fell ill for weeks, was disinfected (I think)
and never again longed to collide
with the whys and wherefores
of Commonwealth pride.