Poem

 You Can’t Be That

I told them:

When I grow up

I’m not going to be a scientist

Or someone who reads the news on TV.

No, a million birds will fly through me.

I’M GOING TO BE A TREE.

 

They said,

You can’t be that. No, you can’t be that. 

 

I told them:

When I grow up

I’m not going to be an airline pilot,

A dancer, a lawyer or an MC.

No, huge whales will swim in me.

I’M GOING TO BE AN OCEAN!

 

They said,

You can’t be that. No you can’t be that. 

 

I told them:

I’m not going to be a DJ,

A computer programmer, a musician or beautician.

No, streams will flow through me, I’ll be the home of eagles,

I’ll be full of nooks, crannies, valleys and fountains.

I’M GOING TO BE A RANGE OF MOUNTAINS.

 

They said,

You can’t be that. No, you can’t be that.’

 

I asked them:

Just what do you think I am?

Just a child, they said,

And children always become 

At least one of the things

We want them to be.

 

They do not understand me.

I’ll be a stable if I want, smelling of fresh hay,

I’ll be a lost glade in which unicorns still play.

They do not realize I can fulfill any ambition.

They do not realize among them

Walks a magician.

-Brian Patten

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