Britain – Cia Mangat




Britain, I have given you everything yet you still call me ugly.
Britain, why must you spit at the black and brown men on your television screens?
Britain, be quiet
I don’t want to hear about your love for
jerk chicken and
hummus and
Indian takeaways
Britain, I know you love your Indian takeaways

When will you stop joking that my red bindis look like laser sniper targets to you?
Britain, are you jealous that I’ve got three eyes and you’ve got two?

Britain, I’m still waiting for my England to come home
When will you stop pretending that the millions of black and brown soldiers you’ve borrowed
vaporised into the mists of wartime smoke?
Britain, don’t lie to me
Britain, come on
If I had a pound for every time you’ve asked me to say my name out loud
I’d be able to buy a gold chain spelling it out

Britain, you’re ugly
Britain begs the American outside his restaurant
for a pound with a coffee cup in hand
Britain you’re a machine, joints oiled by Sam’s
Britain I’ll kiss your feet if you comb my hair
Britain, the Empire’s striking back
Are you scared?

Britain, I’m sorry for being like this
God bless the NHS and all its phlebotomists
God bless the pearled old ladies who smile like clams
God bless your bus drivers with train tickets in their hands

Britain, thank you
for trying to teach me
how to respect the

even though
we both know
it’s a total farce

Britain, you have given me everything
but I still think you’re ugly


Cia Mangat was a Senior Runner up in the Orwell Youth Prize 2019, responding to the theme ‘A Fair Society?’.