Alice isn’t here today
No, no -for she has hidden herself away
inside the cupboard under the stair
so no-one knows that she is there.
“I’m hiding here so you can’t see
I am not who you think me to be;
and as I sit in my private cell
surrounded by the musty smell
of dusty vacuum-cleaner bags
and waxy lavender polish rags,
the bristles of the hard stair brush
prick into my arm from the orderly crush
of household implements stored away.
They will think I am out to play.
The rim of light around the door
defines the darkness even more,
only relieved by the dimmish glow
from my bicycle lamp, so no-one will know
that I’m sitting here on the hard tool box.
My legs are itched by long Scout socks
pinched with the shorts from my brother’s drawer.
I munch on a juicy apple core.
In the shorts pocket a forgotten sweet
gives a cellophane rustle – a welcome treat:
a soft centred ‘Minto’ of peppermint flavour
so handily left for me to savour,
as I read by my torch’s feeble light
tales of bravery and might.
I HATE my hairband and long hair –
I want it short – its just not fair!
I HATE my growing rounder figure –
don’t WANT my bosom to get bigger.
Maybe I could bind it back
to stop it growing, keep it flat,
and work instead on rippling muscle?
Outside the door I hear mealtime bustle –
‘Alice, come it’s time for tea’.
I do not answer, I am not she,
For I am really a boy you see.
Oh why can they not understand
that i was s’posed to be a man?
I wish that ‘she’ could go away.
No, Alice is not here today.”