365 Poems: 22 Underage (Rough First Draft)


I should burn my wardrobe down

with all the clothes inside.


My phone hasn’t gone off in days.

It’s like my friends have become allergic

to saying my name because of this

fetus under my belly button stud.


Mum says ‘deal with the consequences

of your actions’ even though the actions

were six months ago.


But she doesn’t rant and rave like she used to.

She mixes it up with talk of baby formula

on offer in Tesco, a new crèche opening up

down the road, where one of her friends works,

and suggestions of filling my drawers

with nappies for newborns


I’ve had to give my double bed to my sister

so I can fit in the crib and the pushchair.

Mum said she didn’t want it clogging

the hallway. Really I don’t think she’ll mind.

When it comes to it, just she’s still pretty angry.


I’m more scared than anything.

Scared I’ll drop it on its head,

that’ll I’ll hurt it trying to put its clothes on,

scared it’ll freeze to death one night

because I like to leave the window open.


Wasn’t a year ago, when me and the other three

got into mum and dad’s bed, convinced

the world was going to end.


At the Youthie  today, someone asked

if I wanted  my portrait done, all proper, with paint.

They said it would be displayed at a gallery in Sunderland,

like it’s the most normal thing in the world to happen.


People will look at my portrait and  imagine

what I did right after the last bit was painted

and I could stand up, and what I did that night

and for the rest of my life.


This someone said I could take my kid

to see me on the gallery wall.

Didn’t even think of that,

but I feel taller just imagining it.