Poem: Regarding the badge policy

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[Image Description: Person is wearing a white shirt and a light denim jacket. The jacket front has five pride pins on it. ]

Poem by Anja Livesey

Regarding the badge policy*

I looked up section 29
Circa 1860 and 
corrosive acids made an appearance 
Apt, but I would have thought that
To speak but not to see would encapsulate
All for it all the aeons I spent trying to not hate myself
Not fear for my life
Locked up with the hoarded glue sticks and unmarked assessments
Bright and brisk but for what echoed unsaid
Reverberated, verbless, listless, unlisted, enlisted
Unless it’s camo I don’t want it seen
So box up your identity
If it doesn’t break in your fingers
Put it behind you to fall in the wind and rain and cruel straight hands
Pierce that waterproof skin of yours if you love yourself so much
Or I will personally exhume the body of Margaret Thatcher
And turn her upside down and back to front
Face to the wood in her grave

*This is a poem I wrote after I was told to take a pride badge off of my school blazer because it didn’t fit in with the school uniform policy. 

Anja Livesey is a poet from Nottingham, England. In 2021, they were included in the top 15 in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. Their favourite poem is Les Etiquettes Jaunes by Frank O’Hara.