When we were very young,
everything we did was a miracle.
You couldn’t wait for us to smile
and after a while to walk.
We recall the tremendous fuss
you made of us when we rolled.
The sounds we made were so important
that you said them back to us and anything,
anything like a word you wanted us to say
was greeted with ‘hooray!’ and called talk.
Everything, all of it, captured, recorded,
shared, liked, loved, admired.
We were so clever, very brave, beautiful.
A wonder, if you will. A pleasure.
Now we are six we need to be quiet
and if we can’t manage quiet, silence will do.
We must sit.
We must sit still.
We must sit very still.
In order to limit conversation and movement
it is best if we sit in rows
because growing up is all about facing the front.
The wriggles and rolls which signified growth
are now most likely a sign of sloth,
and a desire to play and run
is symptomatic of wanting fun
Now we are 6 we have mostly achieved fluency in the spoken word
and those of us yet to be heard
now learn to talk by listening-
or we are allowed to make the sounds we made when one
now commanded by marks called reading.
We like reading, but what we really like the best
is to be read to
and our preferred position is next to you
so we can see the pictures and have a snuggle
at the same time.
I suppose this screen will have to do
It’s what the adults always do-
it is both work and leisure.