I’m trying to remember what I was like at sixteen.
Hair flat, nails worn, a thick shell weighing heavily down on my back,
I fell in love with a rockstar with thick, tousled locks and tight, leather pants.
He was better than any boy I’d gazed at, any boy whom I’d written to on MSN.
That callous green icon flickering.

My students aren’t like sixteen year olds.
Immaculately groomed, nails chiselled, no shell displayed on their backs,
I shudder when I’m with them, hunch when I’m explaining,
Confused gazes litter the air,
And smirks and faces smacking of apathy.

But they are sixteen, that ripe old age,
When Sixteen Candles and Pretty In Pink should be a staple.
And me?
I withered like a flower in front of adults,
I retreated back into my shell in class,
(Don’t. Make. Me. Read)
I self-flagellated any chance I got,
And still do.

Where is my confidence? Am I lacking some crucial brain component?
I’ll soon be turning a quarter of a century.
So why do these sixteen year olds intimidate me?

Happy birthday Mum.

I don’t need a car, a job, a husband, a dog

I just need my mum, she says.

24 and staring at the floor

Kicking my feet like a wannabe Dorothy

Kansas why’d ya leave me sore?

24 and needing a cuddle

Brain is just a jumbo muddle

Curse you, Mum, for being the best

Just look at the monstrous bar you set!

Gimme shelter, said the Stones

Well I agree, I need my home

Nothing bad ever happens there

The kids all dance without a care.

Mum, please carry me in your pocket

Whisk me off to Marks and Sparks

Spend those pennies, park the car

See pensioners fight over frilly bras

Chicken breasts and caviar.

24 and kicking my feet,

You’ll never be rid

Of this big-ass baby.