Your birth will be a catastrophic ripening
The price to belong to yourself will be the
Antiques handed down to you-
The lullabies of late night calls
And all the excuses you made in order not to risk it.

The counterfeit papers for your escape stuffed in your pocket.
The ones you made out of beermats and quotes graffitied on bathroom walls;
Of the ransom notes for your sanity, illegibly scrawled
On the back of receipts and feverishly punched into the notes on your phone.

But, you know, the funny thing is
All along you were spilt red paint in a fresh white room,
You were a car backfiring in the stillness of June
And your task now is to forgive yourself
For confining the carnival
To a puppet master’s parlour.

And when you’ve remembered your real name-
The one you gave to yourself-
And come screaming out of the birth canal
Of proprietary you will find yourself
Stretched across the horizon.

Shredding your hands to Beltane bright ribbons
As you climb the barbed wire fence to freedom on the other side.

The mutual friends which were just his anyway
Will not understand why you slept outside with the dogs
And smashed the good china on the way out.

And when the powers-that-won’t-be try to buy your silence
You will unfold the forgotten orchestra in your lungs
And serenade them with anthems from your own country.         

© Naomi Wood