Rosie Marshall, a student at the Blue Coat School in Coventry, has won a competition run by anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card.
Rosie won the Year 7-9 Creative Writing category of the charity’s 2020 school competition.
Ged Grebby, chief executive of Show Racism the Red Card, said that this competition has been “particularly timely”.
Here is Rosie’s poem.
It starts off fine.
Peace rules the quiet street,
Watching over the happy people.
Casting its beautiful wings
Over the people below
A group of friends standing there.
Their joy glowing for all to see.
No-one knows why they’re there.
But it doesn’t matter. They’re happy.
Suddenly, a stranger appears.
Their face burning with hate.
They shoot a few words away.
Like bullets in a war.
The words fall like freezing rain.
Heading straight for the innocent.
They’re sharper than a knife.
Built for nothing but despair.
The impact of them hits hard.
Crushing all the looming hope.
The bullets have truly fulfilled their job:
The tears begin to roll.
This is not a unique case:
This happens every day.
Over the years, we’re taught to ignore.
The real pain is taught to hide.
Does it have to be this way?
True, we’ve always known it.
Racism has always lurked,
But the real answer is ‘NO!’.
We don’t have to let it happen.
We don’t have to push it away.
We can make a stand against it.
Rise up for what is right.
So rise up against racism.
Rise up against the hate.
If we all rise up together,
Hate will crumble beneath our feet.
No-one can break us down,
When we stand up for what is right.
The only ones who are truly weak,
Are the ones who spread the hate.
We are stronger when we work together.
No matter how we look or live.
We will rise up to fight the hatred.
We won’t step down without a fight.
So let love, not hatred, rule our lives.
We’re better together, you can see.
Let’s create a force as strong as the sea.
And rise up to racism, together, forever.