you don’t have to copy him if you don’t want to

When I was a kid
one thing I did
was try to be like my eldest brother
who lived in a whole other
masculine dimension
judo, motorbikes, not to mention
an academic ability
which gave him the facility
to be ridiculously
on the whole growing up was pretty stressful

I even joined his dojo
did it work? no
I was basically scared of the other kids
their sweaty digs
playing ‘British Bulldog’
getting my head pulled off
I’d shake with fright
every Friday night
I mean – Fred the sensei tried alright
I never got past yellow

In retrospect
you couldn’t expect
a different outcome
maybe if there’d been some
other stuff I could’ve done
something fun
like figurative ice skating I think
but your ambition shrinks
when there aren’t any rinks
so that’s that
you’re slammed face first through a judo mat

Now I’m free to be me
and life goes on more easily
but if I had the knack
of reaching back
I’d say hey Jim whassup?
and lead me out of that judo club
to a beautiful spot beside the river
where I’d dance and deliver
a song to make me shiver
you don’t have to copy him if you don’t want to

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