orlOrla McArt is a history and English teacher.

She lives in Co. Leitrim.


That child was a little too wild
For your liking-
That bit too outspoken for your
Your mouth
Drooped irritably- when
Engaging me in conversation- I wasn’t the
Right sort.True, my manners
Weren’t as practiced as your
Babes- too bookish- a tad odd. But
A seven-year-old
Recognises adult’s disapproval.They
Internalise that shit. There’s a desperate
Desire to please.
I tried
To be sweeter- but nectar
From a bee is rejected-
I wanted to be like yours
Even dumbed myself down-
Stupefied myself for your
Socialised- played- falsified.
It was then I learnt
To bow to others will. Oh, cruel
Cruel lesson.
have passed-  and while time may heal
Damage must be undone.
A daily chore- internal struggle- as I
Practice tolerance and
Choose to be
That rejected child’s
Older self.