Verbal Attack on the Bus

”إذهبْ من حيث أتيت، لا مكان لك هنا“

”الجالسون بتوترهم فشلوا بالتدخل.“

كلمات الشعر لـ ريتشل جوزيف عن الإساءة والإعتداء اللفظي الذي يتعرض إليه البعض في الأماكن العامة في لندن، إنكلترا.

Racheal Joseph

The morning bus is packed with people out to shop.

A woman’s voice is raised and tempers flare.

The scene explodes like a corpse flower, filling

the claustrophobic air with a fetid stench of rage.


A young mum vents her anger on another,

spewing words of abuse and racial intolerance,

words that seem the harsher from the mouth of a

Windrush grandchild.  Does she not know our history?


Nervous passengers fail to intervene.

They shake their heads and tut in disapproval;

she does not notice. This woman, so young,

so angry, rages and jabs her finger close enough to

blind the eyes that are looking at her from behind the veil.


Driver asks her to calm down or leave the bus.

She waves him off dismissively. The victim,

with a frightened child hiding at her side,

stands up to her abuser. She does not respond

with same verbal diatribe,  only asks the question, Why?


The answer stabs the heart of those of us who know these words too well,                                   Go back where you came from – you don’t belong here.

(published by Morgan’s Eye Press 2016)

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