They pretend to know it all, but they don’t.
They said, when I reached thirteen
I’d be almost grown up, but it doesn’t
feel like that, because, inside, I’m still
twelve, eleven, ten...and counting.
Yesterday, was when it happened,
and the minute I woke up I expected
to feel different, somehow, but I didn’t.
In all honesty, I still felt like twelve,
and I still am, even with thirteen
muscling in. Take school...can’t do sums –
number blind, and when Miss makes me
stand on my chair, I sob, like a little kid.
That’s the part of me that’s still only three,
and you mustn’t mind if you’re the same.
At any rate, that’s what I say to my dad
when he’s sad about something; Mum,
usually, and his bottom lip goes all wobbly,
because that’s the thing about growing old.
It’s all about layering, like rings of a tree,
or my brother’s set of toy cars that fit... one
inside the other. Anyway, teacher said to write
about being thirteen, and that’s what I did,
not that I suppose you understand anything
of this. So – jump up here, next to me; lay
your head on my lap, but I bet you could teach
her, and me, a thing or to...you and your