It looks like I’ll be walking

to school alone. My brother

is quitting, so he claims.

Aunt is mad. She says

he’s squandering his future.

I can’t see that. The only thing

school ever taught me

is how to hide your grief.

How to smile when your mind

is broken.



We have had our first serious

disagreement. I think that

we should finish school.

I can’t accept it’s insignificant,

we mustn’t throw away our education.

I certainly wish for our child to be

well schooled. Undeniably,

it will be awkward, moving between

classes with a baby bump,

but I shall be proud, determined.

I know school life has been erratic,

through no fault of our own.

I shall try to talk more with him,

convince him. This is major.


She has fallen badly,

and gouged her knee.

Her balance is gone,

she is crying. To be sure,

we race to the maternity clinic,

where we jump the queue.

The doctor is comforting,

she says we should have

an ultrasound, in case of

any complications. The gel

makes her shiver. We watch,

and listen. There is a thumping heart,

it is racing, like a wild hare.

The image is very grainy.

The doctor announces all is well.

She dresses Bella’s knee,

prescribes special antibiotics.

We both heave a great big sigh.

A tragedy is averted.


We have been reading

a parenting manual.

I look forward to

the ultrasound.

We are agreed, our baby

shall be born in London.

She will have her Mother.

My Aunt shall be there.

My girl is ten weeks.

She has cravings

for outlandish foods.

She has these colourful

dreams. She has developed

an unusual passion for Scrabble

and I am regularly trounced.

I don’t know where life

is leading me, but it’s

all bloody nice.


There’s been a lot of muttering,

and many wide smiles.

They think I don’t know.

But I do. It’s just a natural

function, what’s all the fuss.

We’ve all got to be born,

somehow. My brother

isn’t thinking of the noise,

the smells. They are both

dreamy unreal people.

It is slightly silly.

Father is going to have

something very mean to say.


The warden has called me in,

to share some news.

It must be my high court

appeal. No, he has something

to say about my son.

The boy has got his girlfriend

up the duff. I am allowed one letter.

How will I live this indignity down

with the other prisoners?

The posh toff, and his

bastard grandchild.

That girl is a piece of work,

lumbering my son with teenage

fatherhood. I haven’t been more

sickened since my own sentence

was handed down.


I am having his baby,

this is a thing of wonder.

When I was born, my mother said,

the aurora borealis could be seen

as far south as the Scilly Isles.

I think, this time, it shall be like

that too. Of course we are

very young, and have no clue.

It maybe the hormones,

but I feel like the North Star

has risen in my little patch of sky.