Reviewing verse I wrote when I was young,
the feet uneven and the tenor brass,
I skimmed what didn’t scan: a toddler tongue
in stammer; my conceit as green as grass.
I understood what made my lover groan
when I imposed my efforts on his gaze.
He wasn’t kind – he could have praised my tone,
but he found affectation in each phrase.
He called me clever and he mocked my laugh.
He made me conscious of self-consciousness.
I’d hesitate at rhyme or paragraph
while rooting round me desperate to confess
experience that I was yet to know,
with ink more ready than my words to flow.