The Archive

Friday, 23 January 2015


Small and pink faced, he
Cracked a cry and
Breathed through restless
Thumping lungs


Grow up. You want to be older
Join the church choir, learn to sing
Aspire to be a priest.

Lost him. You want to be younger
Chase the time, say goodbye
Death is scary when you’re young.

Stop that. You’ve got to act older
Follow the footsteps of your father, learn to be like him
But this isn’t who you are now.

Cheer up. You’ve got a lot to look forward to
Be your father, do your fathers job
But this isn’t who you want to be

Be you. You have to do what you want to do
Invest time in your art, work hard
It will pay off, you’ll see

Try to. You try to do your best, but
Your best isn’t enough
Give up.
Start again. You’ve got to support yourself
Mother’s getting old, sell watercolours of Vienna to get by
Get by isn’t enough now.

Lost her. You’ve got to find a home
Homeless men in shelters, hostels
It’s got to be better than this hasn’t it now?

Lucky penny. You’ve got a purpose now
Draw funny cartoons on the side of the platoon
For the army newspaper,
It’s all looking up now.

Join army. You’ve got a lot to learn now
Being hit doesn’t make you less of a man
Being blinded doesn’t make you blind

Contemplate suicide. You’ve got nothing to lose now
Don’t be a fool, didn’t come all this way just to do
What quitters do
I’m not that fool

Get married. You’ve got someone to go with now
Share a wedding breakfast, French toast
A toast to our marriage

Say Auf Wiedersehen. You’ve got somewhere to be, now
Take a cyanide capsule, take a bullet
To the brain and
The debt
That’s been made to you
That this was all in vain.

Megan Reece

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