Those School Doctors

They said I had Heart murmurs. I asked them “How do you know?”
They told me. “Our stethoscope told us so” “Oh!” I replied, “Can they talk?”
They laughed and said, “No, but we know the sounds that heart murmurs make.
Therefore we want you to go to a Special School where people are trained to take
good care of children like you.

But, my present wee School was special to me
I shook my head and said. “It’s here I want to stay
It’s not far from my home, and I know the way
I even know the Policeman on Points Duty.”

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I will be rebellious, and I will guard fiercely what I believe
Some self-respect is all that is left
And there's no way I will let it lose
To your angry eyes and accusing hands
Burning into my space
I wait until you are done
And you can feel like the greater one.

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The Right To Read

“Do not do this. You won’t win. You’ll be financially liable, and it’ll cost you a lot of money.”

But we did it anyway. And won. We started as many, and then we were two. In the final hurdles we grew to eight, on the final lap to victory. Eight from a possible 6000 is no mean feat ... eight from just the two of us, often seemed impossible. 

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Nun Of Your Business

It's 10am on a warm May morning and I'm walking into Aberdeen city centre with my friend. A man's jaw has just fallen open, and he's walked several feet into the road to avoid being near me. A woman in a Range Rover has nearly crashed because she's staring so much. It's almost as if the north of Scotland has never seen a drag nun before.

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Cherry Blossom

‘You’re odd.’

God, you pick your moments. 

‘I can tell just by lookin’ at ye…’

I don’t mean it’s been a bad day. Quite the opposite. My work for the day done, I’d been congratulating myself, standing on the porch, winding down, the sun still warm upon my face.

‘The clothes you wear…’


You loom, casting shadows, banishing light: sucking the joy from the end of the day.

You’ve been waiting for this opportunity, haven’t you? The chance to have a go, to cut me down. Your time, your time to shine.

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More Than Just Paying Lip Service

“You’ve done what?!” Mum wasn’t happy, evidently. She had a good voice for being angry over the phone. “I told you that I didn’t want you ... oh, God, Colin.” Silence. Just for a moment. I quickly looked around the bus passengers - thankfully no-one seemed to be aware that this floppy-fringed, black-dyed, emo-punk was getting a row off his mum.

“You’ll need to take it out.”

“I can’t”

“Why not? Of course you can - you have to!”

“Been told to leave it in for six weeks till it heals.”

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Bad Widow

My husband just died but at least I’m taking it well. Everybody tells me so. ‘Oh Julie, you’re just handling this all so well’, they gush, willing it to be true. Insisting upon it.

At first I tried to play along; I wanted to believe. The love of my life died at 43 after a grueling duel with leukaemia, but whatever, I’m so strong. I’m so competent. Look at me, I’m handling it. Just like you all want me to.

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It was early one afternoon and Paula’s family appeared at the hospital window, her twin brother perched on her Dad’s shoulders to see inside. The hospital grounds around them were lush with the recent shower of rain and a string of droplets from broken guttering edged the window. She stood up and wobbled her way to the end of the cot to get closer to the faces she knew. The glass kept them distant and she longed to be on the other side. Her Mum, just in vision mouthed,

“Be a good girl,” and smiled.

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family, loss, defiance, conviction

A Rebel Is I, A Rebel Is Me

A rebel is I, a rebel is me.
An outcast is what others may see
But I am no outcast maybe a loner, I suppose.
In actual fact a rebel with very good cause.
Rebel against the social norms, that say, I can’t wear the things I likes as they’re too comfy, too bland, too me.
Rebel against the social norms, that say, I should be married and settled by thirty.
Rebel because you have a point to make, a voice to be heard that will not shake.
Rebel even if it kicks up a fuss, rebel even more when you see treatment that is unjust.

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Scissor Sisters

People say objects live somewhere, as in ‘the cups live in the cupboard’ but Lucy felt that her dolls could never ‘live’ anywhere, not even as objects. Four dolls, each an unwelcome gift, but still she kept on being given them. 

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