Next January I will be 8
The same as my brother, Chinua
Actually, by the time I am 8 he will already be 9
It’s his birthday next month
I’m not quite sure what present to get him
I’m not quite sure if he’s been a good brother to me all the time
He always gets to choose the biggest slice of mum’s banana and walnut bread.
He gets to stay up 15 minutes later than me at bedtime.
He can run faster than me.
I am always a good brother to him. Sometimes.
I let him beat me at chess and play with my Thundercats, Eye of Thundera
When I grow up,
I’m going to eat a whole banana cake to myself
When I grow up
I am going to be a
A rock star
The first brown Dr Who.
I am going to design a plane that will squiggle through the sky
Leaving purple contrails to draw doodles way up high
My plane will fire water bombs on houses down below
Quenching flames to save multicoloured souls
My mum says that life is the bitter Kola nut
shared at family gatherings
Life is sweet In my playground,
Like the orange massacred by pudgy fingers
In my playground,
making a paper plane is easy
You really need to focus, fold it very carefully
In the middle, here
Then the wings
Then again like this on both sides
My aunty likes songs by a little man
formerly known as Symbol.
He sings about laughing on a Purple Plane
Not meaning to cause no pain.
Garden blossoms fall on tissue paper wings
The race breezes fast against my one sibling
Bickering is only a whisper when we both play
Though sometimes I wish Chinua’s plane would not win
I saw the grown up news on the telly the other day
There was a man who was sent to prison
For killing his six children in a house fire
That made me sad. Sad. That made me think of Dr Who’s tardis.
It happened just down the road
round the corner from our house
Near our gymnastics
That made me wonder
‘Not a very good thing to do to your children
My mum likes to throw our unloved toys
in the tip or take them to a charity shop
Making room for new toys our cousins give
Maybe I will get Dr Who’s sonic pen
And use it to make things right again
Maybe that man should have taken his children to a charity shop
So that they could be fostered like my friend Robert at school.
I know a boy who has behaviour issues
I think that man has behaviour issues
Glued on the side of my paper plane
Are chilli seeds for rocket fuel
Jumbo felts fill broad purple strokes
Disguising pink love hearts my mum stuck on each wing.
Soaring through the doodled sky
Down below Derby is a postcard fly-by
I draw 9 square windows,
to fly Mum and Chinua and me
Plus the ghosts of those 6 children
to forget about the pain
just to laugh and enjoy my