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Just turned 18,
A tousled headed venetian blonde,
Or that’s how I like to think of him,
A head taller than his Mum,
A head a half more than his Dad.
Shoulders like a rugby prop,
Waggling to the tectonic wave,
A winning smile and a troubled brow,
The first, courtesy of a devoted dentist,
The second, a legacy from an uncertain future
For that lost generation now
Just turned 18.

You’d be proud of him, Dad, if you could see him.
Of his gentleness, an innate sensitivity,
His awful, terrible, brilliant sense of humour
That livens long car journeys, and family meals on Sundays.
Not of his dress sense, though:
Ramstein T-shirts and slashed black jeans
No belt in the world can hold up,
Giving the world an unflattering preview
Of his stepfather’s best set of underwear and his own ass
I suck my teeth and tell myself ‘this too will pass’.
He is after all, only
Just turned 18.

He prefers people to books, work to studying,
When he can heave himself out of bed, that is,
A rare phenomenon and a typical teenager,
Enjoying his salad days, eager for action.
A good friend, a faithful companion,
The ’social worker’ of his High School class
The one those in trouble depend on.
A man in the making, a boy in the leaving,
Shouting his need for more and more freedom,
And his Mum’s cooking, his own choosing
Of a future existence.
The strange and potent cocktail of one
Just turned 18.

One Response to “Julian”

  1. Martine Fade says:

    Hello there Ellen,
    What a lovely poem!

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