At four they shout songs in church
I see people shining, talking a strange language,
Clapping hands in the Holy Spirit.
I grow up on books
The pictures and words etched in my mind,
The mind grew as I ran at home.
At six, I am an organist
And the music flows as I read.
The Bible I got
For being the “Best Youth” in church
Sits somewhere in the bookshelf,
I never opened it beyond the first page,
The page where the printing is faded
Stating my ownership;
My sister now takes it to church.
The picture I drew won a prize at school,
Mummy smiles with him,
To keep them smiling
I sit silently and win more prizes;
After the second, never first,
But they don’t mind,
And I don’t care at all.
My sister comes home
Every year for two months
And at eight I sing Careless Whispers and Wild World,
I read Jeffrey Archer at ten.
She stayed home from eleven,
At the houses on Old Passport, Holiday Inn
And Airport Roads.
At school I watch the others play
I join them and their laughter
But I don’t run with them any day.
After school I go
And play the piano,
I hide for hours,
I stay alone.
I watch the Wimbledon final
And my dad pushes me
To go for drawing lessons,
He wants to see
The architect in me,
But now I draw
I go to sleep on DaVinci and Van Gogh
Wake up with a start to Dylan Thomas and Coleridge;
I took a flight on Air India,
Brought my guitar for protection,
And with a pen for a sword
I stand on a bridge,
Fight the mad pushes of the waves
Tearing the skin,
The salt spray makes it burn.