Alistair Wilkinson Author
Alistair WilkinsonAuthor

What Does She Know?

In her fifteen years she had never known Eskimos were real, 

but she knows two cultures just from her mum and dad. 

And she knows back streets and side streets, and when she 

walks on main streets, she walks, laughing, unaffected, 

with her girl friends, protecting and protected. 


She likes the idea of being a binman because she knows 

they only work one day a week. But she don’t know no 

Springsteen lyrics. She would know she was in a Pulp song, 

taken advantage of by Cocker. She don’t know no Blake, 

but she knows what the boys are like down by the lake. 


She knows that Ipswich is a country and that Ireland 

is next to Japan. She knows that people in the town 

will stare at her tan: question and judge, determine 

something about her. Skin and clothes and nails and hair.  

She knows she has to be from somewhere. 


She knows friends who’ve lied and friends who’ve died. 

She knows she can put tears in Sir’s eyes and not  

just from laughing about the igloo. That’s true too! She  

knows that her friend shouldn’t have got in that car, 

shouldn't have had that drink, taken those pills... 


She knows when Sir’s being a dick and why her friend 

is being sick. She knows thoughts that cigarettes could  

kill her will last longer than the mist on the mirror.  

She knows that this classroom is too small, 

that her mind is a lunar landscape: new and pale, pitted  

and scarred, ready to explore but so, so far.  


And Sir knows he needs to stop or he’ll go on all night.  


And he knows, he knows, that she knows when she’s right. 


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The full-lnegth novel, 'the Balance', is available here.
Download a FREE Kindle version here
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© Alistair Wilkinson