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He was seven and I was six, my Brendon Gallacher.He was Irish and I was Scottish, my Brendon Gallacher.His father was in prison; he was a cat burglar.
That fire, they said, was red as red as redas red as a fox, your lips, a cherry;that fire, they said spread and spread and spread,faster than a cheetah or a nasty rumour;
He swears on his mother's life he wasn't there.
And if he was there
he swears on his mother's life it wasn't him.
And if it was him
Forest could keep secretsForest could keep secrets
I like to stay upand listenwhen big people talkingjumbie stories
I does feelso tingly and excitedinside me
Nobody can see my name on me.My name is insideand all over me, unseenlike other people also keep it.Isn't my name magical?
Little toad little toad mind yourselfmind yourself let me plant my cornplant my corn to feed my horsefeed my horse to run my race – the sea is full of more than I know
The living room remembers Gran dancing to Count Bessie.The kitchen can still hear my aunts fighting on Christmas Day.The hall is worried about the loose banister.
In our flatfaces speakof places across the sea.
In our flatvoices walk intalking, but not like me.
All you see is outside me: my painted smile,the rosy-posy shell, the fluttery eyes.A butter-won’t-melt-in-my-mouth-type me