ShutUp30.10: What Catches the Mind


Today’s prompt was to reflect on a recent memory. Much of what came out is probably best kept to myself, but this has been at the back of my mind since I was a young person myself (a very long time ago).

Young people today. In my day, people were tough. Everyone worked hard, and looked our for one another. We fought a war, don’t you know. They wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for us.

Young people today: they take a lot of flak. Somehow people forget how useless they themselves were as young people, how overwhelmed by the sudden fields of boundless elysian choice that seem to stretch away as far as the eye could see, without the comforting knowledge that there are things on your CV which mean you probably won’t be going hungry for too long.

Give them something to do that they can do, and they shine. Help each other out, shyly, try their best to crack jokes, open up slowly, find a voice that sounds like themselves. Put them in the shade of test scores, impossible expectations, and whimsical ever-shifting requirements, and watch them curl inwards once again.

And then, cross your arms and roll your eyes. Did I mention that we fought a war? And the Nazis nicked me teeth.




A child is crying,
unknown, unnamed, unconstrained –
cutting between us.


cc by Ramon Peco via Flickr

The Birds


Their halos are on backwards, drooping faces
auroraed in black raspy fibre, claws
catching at skin like scourging fibre balled
in the back of my throat ’til I can cough
it up (without Sister Agnes spying).

They keep bringing me here, and they keep on
bringing me vegetables, loveless smudges
chewed and swallowed and regurgitated.
This is not good for me, not like chocolate
gateau from a purple box, not like home.

A scared child

By D Sharon Pruitt, via Wikimedia Commons