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Welcome to the Yellow Parade

Hannah Raymond-Cox

Push me political

Hoik me onto shoulders age 4 in the first july march

Pop me in front of a radio reporter where i canto-cant

“Hi, (hello), my name is Hannah (my name is gok fong), i’m 5 years old (i’m 5 years old), and i’m with my father (and i’m with my baba) and we walk (and we walk)”

Walk me like I’m on-leash toddling ahead, behind, around, down

Put me in the middle: English-canto, gwei mui, blonde curls pulled in all-local class, scholarship child, grey eyes facing heavenward, we are Jewish, i get 95% and get asked why it isn’t 100

Push me to walk and march and promenade with precision and laced knuckles

Force my head down into papers: in this house we read the South China Morning Post, the Financial Times, the Economist, The Guardian for the theatre we can’t attend, the Telegraph for the food we don’t eat, we read the parenting books at the same time as the parents and forestall them, we hold no briefs for our mothers, we interrogate, we cross-examine, we do not know contentment but its definition, we know all the words to Every Sperm is Sacred age 4 we read Orwell age 7 we spot Aslan’s Godhood and distrust it we are unadulterated Dickens with mandatory weekly report and we are always always p-p-p-Piglet and 


Then let go and don’t hold on tight enough to my hand or the leash

Until i float up and away to the golden mountain in the sky where people smile with blinding certainty

In heaven all the men are drag queens

In heaven all the women are smoking

In heaven all the nonbinary people are naked


I want to come back down to earth to you to home so I swallow the seeds of questioning

I am your baby-persephone choosing before i understand what that choice has sold me to

I carry an umbrella in the sunshine in the steaming gasoline

I do not let my voice change from the learned Mrs Choi’s BBC World Service

I sit and read Heinlein in the bathroom cubicle and cause a school lockdown

I give myself hugs over Sightspeed on the time delay - yours


“Hong Kong is currently -”

“What it means to be a Hong Konger”

“The protests began as a sort of study hall”

“They carry umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas”

“The protest grew out of the annual July 1st independence day marches”


We signed ourselves up to duty, we agree to the mitzvot, we graft conversation

To filial duty not love

In heaven love is not deeds it is words - and we are Jewish

To show that i love you i go alone at 17 to a concentration camp and throw up

I am young but not sweet after years of marching and maror and chazeret

We carry others in our bones and hair

We march and you carried me on your shoulders until you could put me down

You pushed me from the nest and bade me march and i have been marching and bitter


We speak different languages, Ah Ba

Is that why you let go

Is that why we debate torture best practise

We do not share a name, Ah Ba

Is that why you do not let me attend the funerals

Is that why we have dimples in common

We have different dreams, Ah Ba

Is that why you want me to follow you

Is that why you send me money

We have different hope, Ah Ba

Is that why you did not tell me about the death threats

Is that why you are a civil practise charismatic













WE ARE (i am, i am, i am)




Bravery is doing what we can, when we can, and we must.

Love lies like dust. We wipe it clean with a finger. We march.


Commissioned for National Poetry Library's Open Day 2019. Part of London Literature Festival.