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To the Children of Poets

To the children of poets,
on behalf of all poets,
I apologise.

I apologise for your obscure literary names
that you’ll spend a lifetime spelling out,
or at the very least explaining,
and helping people to pronounce.
I apologise for your vocabulary.
Your classmates won’t find it endearing,
or quaint.

I apologise for the unwanted help
you’ll get with your English homework,
and for the years of books as birthday presents
when all you really want
is an X-Box,
and how you might not have a TV
or a microwave
or be allowed to eat McDonald’s.

I’m sorry for the evenings when you will have toast for dinner
because your parents have been writing,
and the weeks where you’ll eat nothing but black plums
because they read about them somewhere
and they sounded so delicious.

I apologise for the nights
their friends will wake you
with bad puns and arguments over a colon,
and for the blue cheese left to fester
on the table overnight.
I apologise for boring launches,
(even if you do manage to snatch free wine)
and for the strange skin conditions
you’ll contract in second-hand bookshops.

I’m sorry for the ugly boots
and textured jumpers
that will greet you at the school gates
and for the endless cups of tea you’ll be
so good at making.

To the children of poets, I apologise
for the imaginations you’ll inherit,
and hope you grow to be a dentist,
or a banker,
or a plumber,
and will be able to afford good nursing homes.

Fiona Wright
From The Best Australian Poems 2010

*I think this poem could equally apply to the children of Arts and Social Sciences PhDs and academics….


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One response to “To the Children of Poets

  1. I love it.

    Mine do get a little more than toast though. I usually get Vegemite on top of it. 🙂

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