Her days could be numbered already;
back against the wall with attitude,
one foot against the radiator,
arms folded, bored.
Its the way to stand though;
it’s cool to look to though you don’t care,
boys like it – don’t they?
means you’re in the gang,
part of the scene.
No more stifling uniform for her;
she’s in “jeggings”, denim look,
doesn’t matter if you overspill,
they’re “in” and that’s that;
everybody’s wearing them.
And her mum’s pleased;
at least she’s got a job, they’ll train her up.

 “Pass me a mirror, please”.
Voice of authority;
she doesn’t like it, you can tell,
wanders over to the window display,
moves a few items here and there,
folds a few towels –
She’s distracted;
a gaggle of giggles outside,
free “study” time,
skirts thigh high,
legs not quite the required shape,
but they’re getting there.
Raucous shouts across the road
at a boy, collective strength;
you wouldn’t dare, alone.

 Oh well, she will have her first wage soon.
She sweeps away more dead hair.


39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. culturemonk
    May 14, 2013 @ 13:05:05

    “free “study” time” great line


  2. Jane Thorne
    May 14, 2013 @ 13:07:58

    Oh my goodness Chris, you have captured this perfectly. I tried a hairdressing apprenticeship at sweet sixteen…I lasted a few short weeks. Taught me a lesson
    though, there is grace in any activity and no experience is ever wasted. Biggest hugs for you my lovely teapot friend. Xxxxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 14, 2013 @ 14:44:23

      Hi Jane, hope you are well; I will send you a catch up email soon. 🙂

      Thank you for your comment. I tried one or two things that lasted a few short weeks too! I think what I saw in this lovely girl was probably a mirror of myself at that age, wanting to be part of the big world, and yet not quite ready to embrace it with the enthusiasm I thought I had. Im sure she desperately wanted to be shouting across the road to that boy!! 🙂

      Lots of silly teapot love to you
      And hugs too



  3. lscotthoughts
    May 14, 2013 @ 13:52:00

    Oh, I love this, Chris, and all the fun visuals portrayed through your words…so many great lines! How many times have we been “back against the wall with attitude?” in our youth? (maybe in our adulthood, too? :)) Love it, my friend! HBL ♥ xoxo

    These are a few of my faves:
    she’s in “jeggings”, denim look,
    doesn’t matter if you overspill,
    they’re “in” and that’s that;


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 14, 2013 @ 14:50:54

      Thank you so much Lauren!

      Your comment made me smile, because you very rightly say “maybe in our adulthood too”. Im sureI can still “do” attitude quite well!!

      And the grass always seems greener doesn’t it? I will be at the hairdresser’s at the end of the month. i wonder if she will still be there, bless her. She definitely had a look that said school wasn’t really all that bad 🙂
      HBL XXX❤


  4. Ina
    May 14, 2013 @ 14:32:24

    Hi Christne, that is lovely 🙂

    Learning a trade is not always fun perhaps. I can imagine she would rather be outside!

    (I am in a hotel now just to internet. But they have good coffee 🙂 )

    L&H xx


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 14, 2013 @ 14:54:55

      Hi Ina! Thank you very much!

      I think learning a trade must be very difficult, but also could appear very attractive, if only to escape the uniform! I think I was actually looking at a younger version of myself here, although as I said to Lauren, I am still capable of attitude even now! Lol

      L&H xx


  5. leamuse
    May 14, 2013 @ 14:55:59

    Hi Christine, what a vivid picture of one on the inside wishing she were out with friends and feeling trapped.
    Amazing mon chere! bisous, Lea


  6. leamuse
    May 14, 2013 @ 15:03:04

    How right you are Christine! I have no doubt it could have been said about many of us at that age. 🙂




  7. journeyintopoetry
    May 14, 2013 @ 15:05:07

    Yes, I think so!! 🙂 xxx


  8. Caddo-Jael
    May 14, 2013 @ 16:51:35

    You take us right into the scene, Christine, and capture the inner dialog that we all do so well. So glad to read this today! God bless you BIG–love, sis Caddo


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 14, 2013 @ 17:11:48

      Thank you Caddo! I think the girl’s attitude was a mirror of myself at that age balking at authority!

      I had to moderate your comment! wP has thrown a wobbly!

      Lots of love

      Christine xx


      • Caddo-Jael
        May 16, 2013 @ 03:49:30

        “Thrown a wobbly”–I love that!! I don’t know what it is–I usually have to approve yours too, and there’s no reason for it–so I just comply, no big deal!

  9. suzywordmuser
    May 14, 2013 @ 19:20:57

    This is a bit like flash fiction! Very much a story of a few moments in time – I like it very much! And it reminds me of teenage girls in the 80’s at my secondary school – all standing there in little rows with their arms folded. Can’t even begin to explain how much that used to annoy me! And yes they did look as if they were part of a gang – their very own sad little gang!!

    But having said that, it’s difficult being a teenager and learning to fit into the adult world. I’m sure I had my strange ways, I just refused to do the arm folding (would make me think of Les Dawson and hefty old gossipy ladies) not a nice thought when you’re a teenager! 😀

    I like the way you’ve ended it! It leaves the reader with an image of the mundane job she might just be in for a very long time! 😀


  10. hollyannegetspoetic
    May 14, 2013 @ 21:58:22

    Really like this character study Christine – can really see her in her jeggings and the expression on her face while she’s sweeping…


  11. tikarmavodicka
    May 15, 2013 @ 23:30:30

    Hi Christine,

    This is a wonderful piece of observational poetry. Too many lines I like in this 🙂 and I like how (for me at least) the ending feels unresolved.
    I suppose for many starting out in the adult is world is quite an unresolved issue until you find the place that “fits”.
    This reminds me of myself a little in my teems trying to work a “normal” job. The only difference would be looking out the window, I would be wondering what it would’ve been like to go to high school and almost feeling an envy that other teens can hang out.
    I hope she’s still there when you return. Learning a new place in life is tough especially when you’re a teen but hopefully the promise of a wage and something for herself keeps her hanging in there. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this great poem.
    With lots of love and
    (((BIG WARM HUGS)))


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 16, 2013 @ 12:50:30

      Hi Rikarma.

      Thank you very much for your lovely reassuring comment. I am out of my comfort area writing something like this and I was hoping it would work for people! I keep trying to branch out a little away from what I call “self-help”poems. It can be quite i teresting observing and trying to capture the moent.

      Yes I hope she is there when I go back, she may well go on to make a successful career in this field, but at the moment she looks a little lost.

      I think at that age wherever we are, the grass looks greener. We all seem to find our way eventually.

      Lots of love and
      ((BIG WARM HUGS)))
      back to you

      Christine xxxx


  12. harulawordsthatserve
    May 16, 2013 @ 06:50:16

    This is absolutely brilliant Christine! I can picture it, and more importantly, feel it sooooo clearly. Incredibly well observed, and I feel a tinge of sadness on finishing it too. Too little to care about and aim for. Too much focus on what others think, want, expect. Not easy being a teenager, and perhaps more so now than ever. I really want to hug the shrug out of her and let her know she, and her life and what she does with it, does matter.

    Love and gratitude,

    Harula xxxxxxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 16, 2013 @ 13:00:03

      Thank you very much Harula!

      Im pleased the poem worked for you. As I said to Tikarma, its a little out of my comfort area, but I am quite enjoying tryng out new things!

      And yes it is difficult being a teenager, and as you say these days even more so. There seems so be so much more pressure from all directions. I hope this particular girl finds her way eventually; it may take her a while but I am sure she will find her niche, as they say, eventually.

      Love and blessings to you



  13. belfastdavid
    May 16, 2013 @ 12:39:09

    Hi Christine,

    This made me smile when I first read it. On a day when I needed a smile!!! Thank you for that.

    Perhaps I was smiling as I wondered how you recognised “back against the wall with attitude” *Grin*

    Much love


  14. Fergiemoto
    May 17, 2013 @ 04:59:06

    I enjoyed reading this charming poem, Christine!


  15. bardessdmdenton
    May 17, 2013 @ 17:36:28

    Oh, Christine, please forgive me for coming so late to this! I love this poem, this vignette – its rebelliousness and less convincing attempts at comformity. I think it also speaks to settling, especially in the work we do but often in other respects, too. Of course, so often life and necessity gives (and, yes, I am deliberately using the word ‘give’) us detours to our true path. That is how our spirit wins and gets us back on track – hopefully!

    The last lines are very powerful…sweeping ‘dead hair’ for a wage. Great reflection. Excellent writing. Love and hugs, Diane XO ♥


    • Journeyintopoetry
      May 18, 2013 @ 09:49:36

      Thank you very much Diane!

      Yes who knows how important this time in her life will prove to be, what lessons will be learned along the way. In fact the lesons never stop do they!? And “less convincing attempts at conformity” describes me at her age. I was a rebel but not a rebel!!

      As I said above I am a litle out of my comfort area writing like this, but I am determined to keep having a go at branching out. Its enjoyable, too, trying new ways of writing.

      Lots of love and hugs




  16. Thomas Davis
    May 27, 2013 @ 22:31:39

    What a great narrative poem, Christine! I don’t think I’d want to go back to the age the girl in the poem is. All that wondering about who you are and who you will one day be combined with wishing that you didn’t have to go about learning work while, at the same time, excited to be an adult at long last, but still not sure about what being an adult really means! You captured the indecision, angst, pride, and determination perfectly. Narrative poetry, I think, is a new venue for you, but you have a talent for it! Keep doing more!


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 28, 2013 @ 13:14:56

      Thank you very much Tom!

      Yes I do seem to have meandered down a rather different path her don’t I? I quite enjoyed it. Maybe there will be some more! We shall see 🙂

      Its good to see you; thank you for taking time, as you always do, to leave such encouraging comments. They are hugely appreciated 🙂


  17. John Stevens
    May 28, 2013 @ 16:47:17

    I enjoyed this.


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 29, 2013 @ 10:55:14

      Thank you very much John, for visiting and for your comment.

      I found you via Bennison Books and then I realised that you were someone who quite a few of my blogging friends follow! So I am following you too! You are what I call a proper poet. I am still in the flirting stage and know nothing about poetry really although I have learned a lot in two years. Its therapeutic for me, that’s the main thing, plus I have made so many new friends.

      Your poem I read last week about the moon was fabulous!

      Christine 🙂


  18. countingducks
    May 29, 2013 @ 10:53:06

    ” legs not quite the required shape”. This line is right up my street and really made me smile. sometimes the less we say the more we communicate and you’ve proved that here. Her personality and predicament pour out of your words. Bravo.


  19. beckarooney
    May 30, 2013 @ 17:32:36

    I could really relate to this poem, it reminds me of doing a job I hated once, thankfully only for a short while! An emotive and intense piece, nice one 🙂 x


    • journeyintopoetry
      May 30, 2013 @ 17:58:42

      Hi Becky! Thankyou for visiting me and for your comment. Its all about finding our way amidst the confusion of growing up I think. I can remember this confusion though many years ago now!

      This poem is a bit different from my usual stuff; I was experimenting to see if I could branch out a little. 🙂

      Lovely of you to visit. Your blog is so inspiring.

      Christine 🙂


  20. Francina
    Jun 08, 2013 @ 09:33:56

    Excellent capture your observation in your poem. Very visual written. I could see her standing there.. at that age you just rebel. 🙂
    love and hugs, Francina xoxox


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jun 08, 2013 @ 09:43:22

      Thank you Francina!

      I am almost sure I was observing a young version of myself!! Its a difficult time of life, and for some probably the first huge thing to encounter. And the feeling of wanting to be all grown up but not really ready for it is a confusing feeling 🙂


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