I Got You Babe
twenty-one, before I managed to acquire one - It came from a
pen-friend in America. I also wanted to be like Marlon -
burly - surly - and snarling - in a Torn T-Shirt.
'Heavens girl' my Dad said. "You can't be like that
Marlon Brando chap - you're a girl'
I'd known that since I was seven, when I found out how
strapless gowns were held-up.
'And don't wear that red cap in the house, they don't
play baseball in Yorkshire - it's not Christian, you
look like a member of the young Communist League in
it'. This was my father. Who always stated the obvious.
This was back in 1968, and I was 21.
'All right, I'd like to be like Pablo' I said.
'Who?' Dad said.
'Picasso, you know, the painter'.
'I've told you before, working class girls can't be artists'
'But I've been drawing since I was in nappies, you must have
'Put away childish things'
'Spare me' I said. 'Okay, I'll be a poet then, like Emily
Dickenson, she was American".
Dad thought that was some ambition, wanting to be a Yank, and
a Yank poet at that. He reminded me that my brother was
studying something useful, and why couldn't I?
'Engineering! That's considered useful, practical, essential
is it? I got an arts degree' I said.