blackmail press 31  Marginalization
Hannah-May Lee
New Zealand

Marginalization - Pauline Canlas Wu
Hannah-May Lee lives in Pt Chevalier with her husband, flatmates, rabbits and cat. Her work has been previously published in Sidestream, Live Lines and Potroast. She isn't writing much these days, besides recipes.

School Play

I dropped out
because the big girls from Haranui
hassled me on the bus.
I was too skinny.
I read too much.
I didn't know about 2pak.
I went to Primary with their sisters
so they knew all about me.
They knew I was the teacher’s pet,
that I got breasts early
and that their sisters didn't like me.
They knew that I was bad at netball
and elastics and hung out with boys.
That I had a crush on Dwayne,
who wet the bed
on camp at Waitangi.

When I got in
I was so proud.
I never knew I could dance,
I had never danced before.
We were too poor
to afford lessons.
We lived too far in the country
for any extra curricula activity.
I just moved my body
like the way that they showed me.
I didn't know
white girls don't dance hip hop.
I didn't know -
my parents hadn't taught me.

That was up to Jo and Matiri.
They laughed
when I told them my iwi.
No girl so white could be Maori.
They pushed and taunted,
they squirted me with water
'Look, she's pissed herself!'
- a gush of laughter.
But they were sure to never really hurt me.
Maybe they thought I came from
a rich, white family.
Once I left,
bus rides regained some normalcy.
However, I was too ashamed
to go with my friends
and see that school play.