If I dye my hair what does it matter to you?
Does the colour offend?
Did you even have to look?
Would you remember this in two days’ time?
If I read this book, what does it matter to you?
Did you hate it as a child?
Does the message scare you?
Will you even remember you saw me in three days’ time?
If I stand at the back, what does it matter to you?
Do you think I’m weird?
Are you suspecting I’m up to no good?
Would you remember what I looked like a week from now?
If I wear a mask to protect myself, what does it matter to you?
Am I hurting you?
Am I complaining at you?
Does what I have on, have any impact on you whatsoever?
If you shout things my way, what does it matter to me?
A lot actually.
I do you no harm, I go about my own business.
But still you think you can yell.
In a day, week, month year from now, you’ll forget.
But I won’t.
Never will I.
This poem was written during 2020 and was inspired by a friend who was yelled at for wearing a mask in public. It made me angry. Who were they to yell? If anything, my friend was protecting them but they felt they had a right to make that person feel bad because for some reason they did not like the idea of masks. Well, it doesn’t matter if they liked it or not. It had NOTHING to do with them. It made me reflect on all the times people had said mean things to me because they didn’t agree with the things I wore, or way I did things. I would never think to critique another human being like that, even less so someone I did not know. Yet some walk around thinking they can yell and shout abuse at what they see as different. Well for anyone who has ever had this happen to them. I am angry for you and am sorry it happened. It was NOT right, it will never be right. You be you. You have every right to be you and I will respect you for it. Yes even you, the woman who yelled. You want to ignore advice then fine, your choice. I’m not going to yell at you, because as a wise little rabbit once said: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. In this week of thinking about mental health, just be nice, it costs nothing. Some of us remember these moments forever. And if you can’t be nice, stay quiet.