Those Were the Days (a poem about my childhood)

I don’t know why

I was painfully shy

as a young child

when teachers asked questions

I’d try to hide

I wanted to be popular

I wanted to shine

I wasn’t that shy girl I knew deep inside

When as my confidence tried to escape from it’s cage

My doubts kept it back

it stirred with quiet rage.

And kids they would tease me

for what I don’t know

memories of tears shed

and for what?

Who knows?

It’s buried deep in my head.

Secondary started so good

But as a teen

I was generally misunderstood

I hated my body

I hated my mind

I overthought everything

It was challenging times.

I ate 200 calories a day at one stage

I got really thin

with my parents I raged

I bought my first eyeliner

strut about in short skirts

platform shoes

high off the ground.

Now I was skinny

made up

pretty

If they hated me it was just jealousy.

All of a sudden

popular girls spoke

boys noticed my bum

and my hair

and tried to grope me in the nightclub

when I was underage

dressed up really smart

used up all my wage

From my Barratts shoe shop job

buy my entry ticket

use my cheeky gob

blag me some free drinks

(sip them really slowly)

So for eight pounds only I could party to Faithless

Daft Punk

and the The Prodigy.

Morning would come

I’d get up and row with my mum

Over washing up that’s wasn’t done.

Sunday night brought reality

Songs of Praise gave me anxiety

rushing to get my homework done

Sneaking to use the landline phone

In the upstairs bedroom

because if my mum knew

she’d only moan

About the phone bill

she was such a fun kill.

Sometimes I’d sit on the roof of our shed in the rain

drinking vodka on school nights

Protesting again

It eased some of the pain.

But I got by as best as I can

Insomnia gave time

studying hard for exams

And I passed them all

not to shabby for a council estate doll.

And what helped me conquer

what could have been a nightmare?

a hormonal, traumatic time

a beautiful love

and a bundle of friends

they say friendship never ends…

(It does)

But even so

I learnt to perform

I sang songs on stage

acted

learnt to play music

I felt reborn

up on the boards

with the lights in my eyes

in an auditorium of strangers

The shy girls reprise.

And that beautiful love

well it came to an end

we grew up and apart

it shattered my heart.

But I learnt to be strong

and to move along

19 was still young

my life had only just begun.

Be Kind Lis 34 years old x

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