Thursday, 24 September 2015

'Draw no more,' sage advice to my old self.

When I was seven my teacher sat
me next to Sean McCann
and as she squatted beside my desk
she pointed at his drawing
and ask me to draw like that

but Miss missed the effect her direction
had upon me. She did not see
that I laid down my pens
and never drew again (or if I did
it was drawing or be kept in)
the fun sucked out of it the same
as when I ran in races and came last, hateful
of each and every plodded step,
but alone in the streets when no one was watching
I would run and run and laugh and think
with the wind in the right direction
I might all but disappear.

Truth is, before Miss misinterpreted,
I liked the way I drew,
like that I scratched and with the pens
went everywhichway
across the page and the desk -
it reminded me of life
and the way I felt when my dad came home drunk
or when Peter McAuliffe sought me out
just so he could paint my face with his fists

but Miss
did not like the explosion
she wanted everything smooth and calm
all the lines heading in the same direction
like serene dolphin
but I preferred the shark’s attack.

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