The girl I wanted to be

I envied you your freedom

To wear short hair

Pierce things

I had only seen

On TV

Fall off your motorino

Breaking a wrist

With such impunity

Unafraid of the

Consequences

Approaching exams

Short skirts

Body paint

Cool for days

I didn’t see

The things that

Frightened you

Kept you acting

The social butterfly

To avoid authority

Running from those

Who demanded things

You could not bear to give

How could I?

With my own demons

To manage

In my long skirts

Flat shoes, subtle

Silent screams

Haunting adolescence

Like a will-o-the-wisp

We are similar now

Grown treading different

Yet parallel paths

Outlasting our pursuers

Ignoring our denigrators

Fiercely seeking our own truth

In a sea of snake oil salesmen

We were never friends

Yet hardly enemies

Mere acquaintances

Each wrapped up in

Our own, private concerns

On nodding terms

Barely aware the other

Existed, but rivals

For all the wrong reasons

I wish you well

Perhaps one day

Our minds may form

A greeting longer

Than the casual nod

We spare one another

From across the room

At some ghastly

Virtual reunion

Organised by those

Who peaked in high school

And want to compare

Their declining ambitions

In a club house

After dark

Like giggling teens

While the next generation

Smokes round the back

Of the toilets

Hoping a mint

Will disguise the smell

As parents pretend

Not to recognise

Their own poor choices

In their offspring

Still single?

Deserted?

Divorced?

Half dead?

Any rugrats?

Really?

Same. Or nearly.

Deep scars from wounds

Old and new

Here’s to us

And all those like us

How about it, Fay?

We happy few

Still standing here

Upon this day

Mother’s Ruin

I had the bizarre experience the other day of being vetted by the mother of one of my collaborative partners, who seemed quite bemused to meet me in the flesh and find there is no romantic arrangement between us whatsoever. I write the lyrics, he records them. End of. This was the poetic aftermath:

Just thought I’d check you out
I worry for my son
You know he gets about
But never sticks with one

So I must do my best
As parent to my child
To sort through what is left
And stop him running wild

You seem a nice, young thing
Perhaps a little old
To be a one-time fling
Remaining pert and bold

Yet I don’t understand
You’re really not his type
There’s something underhand
I’m starting to dislike

I cannot fathom why
He still wants you kept close
When cuter girls and guys
Are thrown out over toast

Just how would you define
The nature of your part
My boy’s not yours, but mine
I hold keys to his heart

So I can lock it shut
To keep my precious boy
Far from the latest slut –
Temptations of a toy

I’m not sure what to feel
About this odd affair
You have no sex-appeal
And yet he seems to care

That I should not offend
Nor even entertain
Such notions of girlfriend
In everything but name

I guess you’re not so bad
The words are pretty cool
So sorry I seem mad
I sometimes act the fool

But promise me, my dear
Whatever else you send
Just so we both are clear
He’s mine until the end