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Scroobius Pip Day: Exclusive Poem

Published on 2 August, 2010

Authored by Titan Books

Today on the blog it's Scroobius Pip Day, which means we'll be posting tons of exclusive content to celebrate this year's Poetry (e)motion.

And to kick things off, Pip has provided us with an exclusive poem:

Jack & Rosa

Now here’s a little story id like to tell
About two young lovers you know so well 

It wasn’t Romeo and Juliet or Casanova
The one was called Jack and the other Rosa 

Rosa first encountered this new boy next door
When she moved house at the age of four 

She was keen to make a friend in this new habitat
So she would play out in the streets and see who would react 

Now in this particular neighbourhood, in this particular borough
Rosa’s family were the only ones of different colour 

This could be awkward when she met new kids
Coz at that age all know is the street where you live 

But Rosa had been taught skin colour shouldn’t effect
Who you choose to give your friendship and to give respect 

Jacks Dad had passed away so he just lived with his mother
And Rosa seemed nice so they hung out with each other 

They would meet at Mr Bronka’s video shop every day
Whiling away the hours with all the different games that kids play 

They’d play Commando, Run-outs, Rounders and Icky Sticky Glue
Pogs, Micro Machines and Ring Raiders to. 

They’d watch Mask, Visionaries, Centurions and He-Man
Thundercats, Penny Crayon and the Get-A-Long Gang 

They lived every single day in their own little world 
Until Rosa was 10 and Jack was 12 

From when he first started school Jack had always excelled
And due to this he was to be propelled 

Into a private boarding school where his mind could flourish
The kind of school where creative minds like Jack’s would be encouraged

So on Jack went towards a glistening career
Whilst Rosa was left on her own back here

Jack would visit Rosa at the end of each term
And share with her all of the new things he had learnt 

Everytime Jack would visit it felt like nothing had changed
But in reality Rosa’s life was no longer the same 

Jack didn’t see this because Rosa kept it from her friend
Because each visit made her feel like they were kids again  

There still weren’t many others kids with Rosa’s skin
With Jack by her side she’d always felt she fit in 

But, without Jack, Rosa felt isolated and detached
So if someone showed her attention she would show it right back 

To feel loved Rosa was loose with her affections
Many a boy would grace her bed, with the occasional infection 

A kind word was all guys needed as a prerequisite
To get the right to tide over Rosa till Jacks next visit 

Jacks life, now at Uni, couldn’t be more different
Of the perils of distraction he was always vigilant 

Three girls came close, as did one boy
But Jack was focused on uni so they had no joy 

Jack would often think of Rosa in that special way
But he just figured, with the distance, it wouldn’t help to say 

So he continued with his work until one rainy day
Like a bolt out of the blue a phone call came 

Jacks mother had grown ill and she needed him there
So he was on the first train to administer care

On the journey home mortality was on Jack’s mind
And the rarity of cases of true love that you find 

This unfortunate event had made him think things over
And it made him face the feelings that he had for Rosa 

He sent a text that said “Hi Rosa, its Jack
I’m coming home and need to talk to you when I get back 

I’ll be around for a while as my mothers grown ill
And I need to talk about us and the way that I feel.” 

Rosa didn’t know how to feel about Jack’s return
She missed him loads but what about the things he would learn? 

When Jack heard about her long list of guys
Would he still look at Rosa through those same old eyes 

Rosa decided it was best that it came from her
Instead of him hearing all the rumours, nicknames and the slurs 

Rosa text “Meet me at Bronka’s on your way to your mums place
Then we can walk home together at a leisurely pace.” 

When he saw Rosa, Jack couldn’t hide the smile from his face
But Rosa feared that warm smile was soon to become misplaced  

Jack said: “Rosa I need to tell you how I feel about you
Rosa said: “Jack that’s fine, but before you do 

I need to bring you up to speed on 1 or 2 stories
That I don’t want you to hear from someone else before me.” 

Rosa proceeded to unravel tales of her previous conquest
She left nothing out electing to be painfully honest 

Jacks reaction? Well that was one of sheer stunned silence
But Rosa figured that was better than tears or violence

Jack said: “Rosa I came to say I want to spend my life with you
But maybe you aren’t the Rosa that I thought I knew…” 

“Stop right there Jack” Rosa interrupted
“I’m still the same girl that you’ve fallen in love with  

The same girl that was your best friend when we were growing up
And the same girl that regrets every single guy that i….. 

I was lonely and confused but now that you are here
Everything I want from life has never been so clear” 

Rosa stepped forward and tentatively kissed Jack
And to kiss her back was the only way for Jack to react 

And with that they agreed to make a lifelong pact
To set their sites towards the future and never look back 

Jack left then and went to his mothers bedside
In the same house and street in which he used to reside  

When he saw his mum he realised just how much he had missed her
And he hoped the news he had, of him & Rosa, might lift her 

He said “Mum I’ve got some news that will make you feel better
Rosa and I, after all these years, have got together 

We are going to get married and we are going to have kids
We are going to start a life together and get some where to live 

Jacks mother placed a hand on each side of his head
She looked her son in the eyes and softly she said 

“Rosa is a lovely girl and she’s been a great friend
But all this silly talk of starting a family must end 

Now I know its old fashioned but it must be known
Throughout this families great history we’ve always stuck to our own 

Its not “racism”, its simply pride in our heritage
Where you come from is more important than where you currently live.” 

With that her head dropped, her eyes started to close
Jack held his mothers hand as a tear ran down his nose 

But her last words really served to rip Jack in two
She said “Jack, I want my grandchildren to be black like you.” 

Well that line right there put Jacks head into a spiral
He loved Rosa but surely his mothers dieing wish was final? 

He understood his mother’s genuine Jamaican pride
But issues of the heart were surely his to decide? 

Deep down he knew his aunts and uncles would feel the same
As his mother did and that just left him reeling with pain 

He walked out of the house right there and then
And never saw another member of his family again.