Poem from the fourth Hackney Writers’ Workshop anthology, Where There’s Smoke, 1983.

A Fashionable Colour

She bought them off the Holloway Road
The green dungarees
Cheaper because last year’s model
Sensible, yet stylish, she liked the effect
Good for work, yet fun to wear
In city streets or trendy pubs
Not on faraway beaches
In dug-out trenches
Looks good with the gold belt and white jacket
Not caked with mud
Or soaked with blood
Colour of blind obedience
Which makes men believe
That it is good to put on uniforms
A fashionable colour
They’re all at it
In it up to their necks
Sinking and drowning and sick
I’m sick of that obscene green
So much in demand today.

Maggie Hewitt


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