Nothing Personal

We can’t have you in here
But please understand
That we’ve nothing against you.
If it was up to us
But it isn’t. It’s our customers.
It isn’t personal.
If we let you in
Then word would get around.
We have to make a living
And times are hard.

We can’t let you sit there
But please understand
That we don’t make the rules.
If we did
It wouldn’t be like this.
It isn’t personal.
There’s room at the back
And as things are
You’ll feel much safer
If you know your place.

We can’t let you join
But please understand
That if we could
We would. It’s the other teams
We play against . . .
It isn’t personal.
They think your kind
Are trouble
And that where you come from
It’s a different game.

We can’t say why
But please understand
It’s how things are.
They’ve always been like this
Although it does seem wrong.
It’s nothing personal
But what can we do?
Try to see it our way.
If it was up to us
We’d welcome you.

Copyright: from Back to Midnight (Puffin, 1994) first published in The Mad Parrot’s Countdown (Peterloo, 1990) © John Mole 1990, used by permission of the author

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Rhythm is at the heart of the ways in which John grabs us and brings us along as he tells stories about family, school, history and all ...

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