- Vol. 01
- Chapter 11
Saturday 18th September, 1977
For my first birthday, I was given a silver rattle, with my name and birthday on it.
For my second birthday, I was given a teddy called Sam, and two new books.
For my third birthday, there was a pirate outfit, which I did not take off until I was Four. Then there was a set of toy cars, which I loved.
And a checked coat when I was five, I think, that my mother made for me.
When I was six, she took me to a wild, overgrown park full of stones. And said,
Your grandfather is here: and when I was seven, I went back again to say Hi.
When I was eight, I wanted a party in MacDonalds, but she said no,
And nine, was the year of the Complete Children’s Encyclopedia.
I knew everything by the time I was ten – double figures, they said:
Now you’re almost a grown up. When I was eleven, I found out before the day
That I was getting a puppy. Sarah, that’s what I called her, had the longest ears of any dog you’ve ever seen. She was one when I was twelve, we shared the cake, 112.
I got my first trip to London, when I was thirteen, to see Phantom of the Opera
Even though what I wanted was hair straighteners, so I could look more like
My little sister, who everyone loved.
Saturday 18th September, 1977My fourteenth present was a checked jacket; that my mother made for me.
And my fifteenth? She let me have a party, with boys; that ended at 11pm.
Sixteen was a disco in a club in town, with a new black dress I loved.
When I was seventeen, she told me I was too old for presents, and then gave me her pearls. They should have been my eighteenth, but she was sick –
And she was gone before I reached nineteen, when I was told she had left me a box.
This was my mother’s last gift to me – I thought: the day will come when I open it.
My twentieth birthday, when I found out what she never told me –
That I was adopted. My real parents were in the box, they left it for my twenty-fifth.
Inside, a photograph, of them apparently; but my hair, my face, a woman with pearls
A man in a checked coat.