Poetry Rivals 2016

Taking poetry from the page to the stage!

Little Box

I spent all my teens trying to get out of that box they put me in.
It was supportive, I didn’t go hungry, never cold.
I guess it was caring,
But dear God it was small.

What’s the point of university, we don’t go to university.
You want to do art, we don't do art.
Work at the factory with us, find a nice boy, maybe a wee flat by
the time you're twenty.
We'll see wee Jim about getting you a wee works van.

I spent my early twenties trying to fit into my collegiate box.
Life was new streets and virgin blank pages.
A dark box, I was frequently drunk in there sharing eager kisses,
ugly fumbles and cider belches.
Alone in the world with new amours, Joni and Morrisey.

What the fuck do you actually do with an avocado?
A pint of red witch and a lager and lime please.
Yea. I'm on the pill.
No, I don’t want to wake up on my own anymore.

Heading to thirty, I was really, really trying to get into someone
else’s box.
Hit and miss, miss, miss, dating.
Belly in, lippy on, tits out.
Long dark cornered pauses, punctuated by sips of my Bacardi and Coke.

Nope I’m really not into dungeons and dragons, no I really don’t
want to see your dice.
No, I don't smoke. Yea. I'll dance though.
Yes. I think you're so right, Marillion are musical geniuses and can
reach deep inside us all.
Yes sure, I'm free tomorrow, a party, yes I'll meet you in the

At five minutes past midnight on the 16th of August, 1995, I was
the bloody box
I got it, I understood the point of it all not just the footnote.
Holding those tiny toes that smelled like digestive biscuits, and
me, and soil after rain.
I inhaled and knew the secret I wasn’t looking for.

Now how the hell do we do this.
Why can't you watch her while I have a bath.
Yes honey. I will stay with you and doggie till you fall asleep.
And for the last time, there is not a bee in your bed.

Busy with a life I didn't notice when he fell into another box
Her box. Her fucking tidy box, tidy of life and full of a different
A moonlit flit and a punch to the heart from two lines of biro stuck
to the fridge.
Someone. Close the lid on me and my child, tape us in.

Yes sure I will take her to the park, yes sure you can collect your
albums then.
Yes you can keep the coffee maker, yes you can have the toaster.
No I don't have your mother's baby photos of you.
No you can't. Whatever. Yes. Just get out of our lives.

Aged 52 now, too many candle and cake days have passed, and I
am suddenly lost in my box.
More of me wobbles than doesn't, more is wrinkled than plump.
I can't get up from a chair now without making a noise.
No more the steady cog of anyone’s universe, my perceived
omnipotence rusts.

So what now? What happens now? What box apart from the final
one will fit me now?
This box is full of memories and smells and sounds of her and me,
then and them.
To be alone now in this box crammed full of my life is an odd
Fought for, shared and repaired it is now all I have in my hands,
my tatty little box.

My tatty little box...

Audrey Biscotti