The Cage

Woollen socks, her hood of pink
Glancing at the new school case,
Nita trying hard to think
Second day she has to face

Yesterday she went to school
Different culture, language odd,
Little children can be cruel!
Sees her Father give a nod

Takes her school case with a sigh
Follows Father out the door,
Silently he sees her cry
Tears falling on the floor

Will they be unkind again?
Foreign clothes in summer heat
Culture shock, and now this pain
Pinching shoes; reluctant feet

Children see her enter school
Watch her Father kiss and leave
Shout their insults, act the fool
Forcing her alone to grieve

Children see and imitate;
Prejudice from those of age,
Force newcomers to their fate
Locked inside a cultural cage.

“© Copyright Ian Grice 2011 All rights reserved”

2 thoughts on “The Cage

  1. Extrateresstrials! That’s funny Jim. From my observations having travelled around the world in every nation I’ve visited adults treat someone not of their culture as a curiousity at the least, and in some cases reserve or hostility. I don’t think parents knowingly teach their children to be exclusive, but perhaps the kids pick if up from what they observe rather than what they are told. In any case children can be cruel in a school situation.


  2. The question always comes to my mind. Are children of all cultures the same in the way they treat the “new kid” If so, when does the socialization process begin and they cease being very cruel to someone not of their aculturation? Is it through learning from teachers that to be “civilized” one does not treat another human being that way? Are there some cultures that never teach the young to be civil toward the newcomer? Are there some cultures which start very early in the life of their new children teach them by doing to respect people from other places and cultures as a matter of principle? I sometimes think that the people of America teach their children to metaphoracly “shoot first and ask questions later” when they meet a stranger from a different cuture. I don’t think that I would want to be an extrateresstrial and meet Americans first when I amde land fall on Earth.


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