Litkicks Message Board Archive

Hiding and Pretending

Posted to Poetry

In the first place I need to tell you
I used to hide in trees
And watch people for hours
Through the leaves,
And they were fascinating
And did everything in slow motion
And laughed a lot,
And then I hid behind the settee
In a very tight space
With my knees pressed close together
And listened to my mother and father
About me (I don’t remember what they
There was the thing I did where I pretended
To fall asleep in people’s front-rooms,
Because I thought I looked beautiful
When asleep (though I had never and have never
Seen myself sleeping)
And thought that falling asleep
In company
Was a sign of something spectacular
And blessed and holy
About the self,
And then those times
I would pretend to fall out of bed
And drop from the top bunk
With a tremendous stuntman’s crash,
So that people would think
I was interesting and wacky
And they would be pleased
Because something funny had happened,
Something different,
Something unexpected,
Which was all they ever wanted.

I have always had problems with myself
And how I see myself,
And I suppose you have too.
I often think of giving up,
And would have,
Long ago,
If I were not aware of how marvellous
Life can be
When you can hide
And pretend
And think you are remarkably beautiful
While pretending to be asleep,
When you can pretend to fall from bunk-beds
And hide behind settees
And hide in trees,
Looking at life
Through the leaves,
In slow motion,
As yourself.