shipwreck on the shore of an island
Photo: Getty Images

The Friday Poem: My childhood by Tim Upperton

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.

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