I listen to you stomp upstairs, fed up with homework and my nagging, on your way to bed. I’m already reading in mine, grateful for rest after a day spent being paid to not do what I want to do, to be somewhere else.

I try to make my dreams realistic, but it’s impossible. I just want to sit in the garden on my own, eat lunch and dinner with you, write and paint, watch the sun go down and think about what I have done.

Life’s been full but the future’s taken away: friends dead, stupid politics and racism, bank accounts empty, however much we earn. Why do we let ourselves buy into bullshit, lies and discontent?

I stand beside my younger self, urging him to abandon common sense or ambition. Just be kind, be poor, do what you want to do.




© Rupert M Loydell
Illustration Nick Victor


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