Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

BooksFebruary 19, 2021

The Friday Poem: My childhood by Tim Upperton

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

A new poem from Tim Upperton.

My childhood

I was Dick. I teased Anne and George.

I was Edmund, betrayed my friends

for a sweet. Something rotten in me.

Cast out, castaway. For long years

I had an island to myself.

I lived on corn, goat-meat, fish. All changed

by a single footprint in the sand.

I harkened to the call of the wild.

The trees cracked in the cold.

How lost, how alone I was. I howled.

I hunted. I ate. My bloodied muzzle.

I left that place and took rooms

in foggy London. I solved the case

of the speckled band. Then I split in two.

I avoided mirrors. My other self

was murderous, but I grew kinder.

In the end I lost everything.

Take my eyes, I said to a swallow.

He flew with them across the city.

 

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again in March 2021.

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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