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Poem

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.

Red Cherry Red
Poem

That fire, they said, was red as red as red
as 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;

Poem

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

Poem

Forest could keep secrets
Forest could keep secrets

Poem

I like to stay up
and listen
when big people talking
jumbie stories

I does feel
so tingly and excited
inside me

But when my mother say
“Girl, time for bed”

Poem

Nobody can see my name on me.
My name is inside
and all over me, unseen
like other people also keep it.
Isn't my name magical?

Poem

Little toad little toad mind yourself
mind yourself let me plant my corn
plant my corn to feed my horse
feed my horse to run my race – the sea is full of more than I know

Red Cherry Red
Poem

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.

Poem

In our flat
faces speak
of places across the sea.

In our flat
voices walk in
talking, but not like me.

Poem

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

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