Teenage Treat

‘The seaside?

I hate it – it stinks.

Seaweed gunge,

diesel fumes,

vinegar and chips.


Little dogs yapping

and toddlers shrieking

and everyone splashing.



Rusty boats with stupid names and chipped paint,

and old men hosing down the decks.

Soggy stuff sinking, bottles bobbing,

oily feathers, yucky lumps, floating shit,

bones with fur, skulls with beaks!


Flotsam jetsom and dunnage?

Are they ancient words

for trawler men’s gloves

thrown up by the tide

and lobster pots

and nets and plastic and string?


Shells for my mum?

Sea-smoothed glass?

No I hate collecting,

getting sand in my hair

and marks on my shoes.


No I don’t want to paddle  –

oh please auntie please,

let’s not go to the beach!

I’m thirteen now, I hate the seaside,

I’m not a kid!


What do I want to do?

Oh let’s get in your car

and drive fast down my street

with the hood down

and my music loud

and wave at my friends!’


That’s what the girl said.