Poetry Competition Runner-Up

Welcome to Tottenham by Giovanni Rose

Welcome to Tottenham.

Where we wake up to the smell of chick king,

mixed with the odor of the corpse from the night before.

Where we cover our blood stained streets with dried up gum,

Where kids have holes in their last pairs of shoes,

Where daddy left mummy and mummy’s left poor.

Welcome to Tottenham.

Where if you look like me then it’s harder for you,

Where everybody’s equal unless they’re darker than you.

Where the police see colour before they see the crime,

Where children get stopped and searched and aren’t allowed to ask why.

Welcome to Tottenham.

Where the drugs addicts sit at the back of the 149.

Where education and sports are the only ways to shine.

Where we ride around on stolen scooters,

Where we can’t afford tuition so the streets are our tutors.

Welcome to Tottenham.

I love but I hate my home,

I still listen to the voicemails of my dead peers in my phone,

I live in a nightmare. I had to learn how to dream,

I’m afraid to open up because you won't survive if you’re weak.

Welcome to Tottenham.

The devil’s playground.

We fight over streets we don’t own,

Knife crimes on the rise because the beef can’t be left alone.

Why does no one understand that we just want our youth clubs back,

Why do they claim they’re not racist but label the violence here black?

Welcome to Tottenham

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