Chocolate Ice Cream

The inspiration for this piece is the speech that I would give to aspiring GAMSAT takers while I worked as a Humanities tutor. I would encourage them to think about the implications of chocolate versus strawberry ice cream, and what empathy meant in that setting. I’m not sure how many of them took my advice to heart – but I can’t ever order ice cream and not think about it.

If I were to write about chocolate

The people wouldn’t cheer out loud

If I was a teacher, a doctor, a preacher

Who truly sought to heal the world

Then no one would hear what I had to say

Because sweet sticky darkness from slavery

Is no more pleasant to ego to bear

Than immature Peter Pan who thinks of himself only that he can

It isn’t quite what you should seem


If I were to write about chocolate

There would only be a few who would agree

What is good for you is good for me they all see

That it is as dark a choice as any you’ll make

As you put scalpel to flesh and isn’t it easier

To choose strawberry than to be honest?

And I taught them to never be honest


If I were to write about chocolate

I would be asking you to consider my point of view

As a privileged white woman with money to lean on

I’d expect you to understand my needs

But my needs are not the same as the world’s needs

So I would encourage myself to reconsider

I would work a little harder be a little kinder

Not let my bias get in my way


If I were to write about chocolate

I wouldn’t be where I am today

It is a truth unforgiving that where I am living

Comes straight from a strawberry sundae

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