#1
There is a bit of repetition in here, but it's more of a monologue than a poem, so hopefully I can get away with it a bit here.

This was written a few minutes ago after the Stephen Fry documentary on BBC2 called HIV and Me. This, I hope, portrays the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.



I’m a walking disease, or so they say,
before they hit me and hurt me and leave plum bruises
for everyone to see. My parents tell me to
talk to the teachers, but they’re just as bad.
It’ll pass, they’ll say, it’s just a phase, they’ll
tire themselves out and find better things to do.
They don’t see me cry;
They don’t know how much I want to die;
They don’t see the mental hurt;
They don’t see the scars I hide.

I’m positive, so what? I’m only human,
this wasn’t my choice.
It feels like I’m the only voice
speaking up for this affliction,
this worldwide condition.
I believe in no God, this is no test of faith.
I believe in myself, of that I am sure.
I believe in life, I’m positive in that.
I believe in chance, and I’ve been dealt a cruel hand.

They paint curses on the street,
at the playground where the little children
would point at them and ask mummy and daddy
what it meant. Those little children
are taken elsewhere now. Now and then
I wish that St. Elsewhere would take me too,
but I am me, that is who I am.
Why should I change for the ignorant masses?
Why should I change to fit in with the rest?
Why should I change because others are ashamed?
Why should I change because I have an “African disease”?

I think like any other; I talk like you,
so why am I touted as being something of a freak?
I eat the same food, I drink the same drink,
I think just like you, and live in a similar house.
There’s others like me who sit in silence,
and let the brave ones speak out for them,
while they take their beatings and believe the words they hear.
We are just like you;
You are just like us.