Authors: Chrissie Gittins
These flats. I'm getting out of here.
I'm not going to be one of those they come round
collecting for wreaths for.
I want a room of my own.
Sean even gets hold of my underpants
if I don't watch him. And I'm sick of his City posters.
Telly's rubbish in the day. The adverts are alright.
I want to spear a dummy with a bayonet.
I bet my dad was in the army,
I bet he had boots and a gun.
I would stand to attention, I would
salute with my hand like this.
I wish I wasn't the eldest.
Sometimes I go to the fridge and drink
the baby's milk from her bottle.
My Dad's More Embarrassing Than Your Dad
My dad's more embarrassing than your dad.
Does yours get all your friends' names wrong?
My dad has to be more embarrassing than your dad
Does yours try to sing your favourite song?
My dad is way more embarrassing than your dad.
Does yours wear sandals with socks on the sands?
My dad is so more embarrassing than your dad
Does yours dance with just his feet and his hands?
My dad is definitely more embarrassing than your dad.
Does yours always ask how to use the computer?
My dad is a trillion times more embarrassing than your dad
Does yours try to wiggle his hooter?
I Can't Fix Everything
I can fix the picnic basket,
the sticky window in your room,
I can fix your seventh puncture,
I can fix that very soon,
but I can't fix the weather
when we're sitting on the sand
and the rain beats down
leaving holes behind.
I can fix the squeaky door
and the stain on your rug,
I can fix your seagull mobile
and the handle on your mug,
but I can't fix the fall out
with the friend you've had for years,
I can only nurse the hurt
and wipe away the tears.
I can fix a fallen shelf
and a wonky wooden bed,
I can fix a crashed computer
and that wall you painted red,
but I can't fix it when you fall in love
with someone who doesn't feel the same.
I can only say, âPick another',
fall in love again.
The Best Hiding Place in the World
I'm crouching in my hiding place,
my mum is going wild,
she's traipsing up and down the aisles,
“Where are you, naughty child?”
I'm counting up the soap powders â
the liquid and the blocks,
they line the shelves opposite,
they clean my jeans and socks.
Mum's voice is getting louder,
the manager gets called,
he sends a message to the store,
(he's tall and very bald).
“If you see a little girl,
dressed in a purple top,
please inform the manager,
then our search can stop.”
Game's up, I'm caught â
been seen through the holes,
I'm hiding on the bottom shelf â
behind the toilet rolls!
The Way He Used To Be
I miss the way my brother used to be,
he'd flop back on the sofa,
somersault on the lawn,
he punched the air,
gave me a high five
when he won the football game.
All of a sudden
he'd clear the living room,
push back the table,
put on rock music
and wiggle his bottom from side to side.
I laughed till I cried.
He painted wicked pictures
with robots and kangaroos,
he held my hand
when we crossed the road,
he never let me lose
at snap or dominoes.
I miss the way my brother used to be,
the way he stuck out his tongue,
the way he cuddled me.
I had a row with my mum,
stormed off up the stairs,
I really was sorry
to make her worry,
staying out late
without a word.
I tidied my room
and cleaned the shoes,
and made my own packed lunch.
I picked her flowers
and swept the floor
and then I had a hunch.
I could mend her broken necklace,
the one her grandma gave.
I threaded the beads one by one
and counted off the days.
The day we rode on donkeys,
rattling down the beach,
the day she made me chocolate cake
and hid it out of reach,
the day she smoothed my forehead,
when a fever raged inside,
the day I held an egg and spoon
and she cheered me on with pride.
I gave my mum the necklace,
she wrapped her arms around.
In that delectable moment,
you could not hear a sound.
This one's for the sniffles,
when your nose runs down to your mouth,
this one's for the blues,
when the sides of your mouth run south.
This one's for strawberry cheesecake icecream,
it's so good you just have to dribble,
this one's for your left-over-sandwich â
there was only time for a nibble.
This one goes round your knee
when you've fallen off your bike,
this one's for when you slip on the pitch â
but it was worth it for that strike.
This one's to give your mum
when you start your first day at school,
and this one's for when you fall in love
and you feel an absolute fool.
To My Daughter, As She Learns to Play the Qin
from âFeeling from Mountain and Water', an animated Chinese film by Te Wei
I will teach you as I was taught.
An old man came down the mountain,
leaning in the wind.
I caught him when he stumbled.
His music met mine, he laid his qin before me.
Orange leaves feathered the air,
by snowfall I could play.
When the frog swelled his chest and
fishes gathered at a worm
we left to sail the slanting gorge.
Monkeys jumped in trees,
stones split falling water.
I didn't want to say goodbye.
I clutched him close,
then knelt and took the qin
bequeathed to me.
He left as he had come.
From up on high I plucked the strings,
filled the valley with his gift.
I will teach you well, as I was taught.
Qin (pronounced âchin'): a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family