Not Custard

 1) I used to avoid yellow, my grandma said it would wash me out.

Pale skin and lemon is never okay. I had no choice when secondary school

meant yellow polo shirts

against my newly bleached hair. I was a walking canary.

 

2) My grandad was awarded the tallest sunflower of our town. Its speckled face

enveloped by a fan of sunshine. A few years later he,

and sunflowers, passed. Yellow is my grandad.

 

3) I hate that lime-yellow sickness of high-vis. The yellow of reflectors screaming

‘don’t run me over’ attached to school kids like a tattoo. It’s afraid, it’s a weapon. That yellow isn’t smiley.

It’s a smack in the face.

 

4) End of my A-Levels, I bought my yellow backpack.

It made me stand out (in school I’d avoid that like the common cold.)

Yellow meant confident, yellow meant goodbye sadness.

Yellow is I don’t give a fuck.

 

5) But I must specify for saving my dignity.

‘What’s your favourite colour?’ ‘Mustard.’ Not custard, not highlighter

or high-vis. And I don’t like bananas.

 

6) Yellow is the safe option for those unborn. New life, painted across fields

or nursery walls. Yellow is ‘try again tomorrow.’ Yellow is

freckles across cheeks. Yellow is

yellow.

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