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 , protecting and protected.
She likes the idea of being a binman because she knows
they only work one day a week. But she know no
Springsteen lyrics. She would know she was in a Pulp song,
taken advantage of by Cocker. She 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 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 or he’ll go on all night.
And he knows, he knows, that she knows when she’s right.