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This one comes from 'Michael Rosen's Scrapbook' published by OUP and tells the story of how I came to write poems and indeed, how I write the poems, along with old pictures of where I used to live, pictures of my parents and my brother and so on.

 

They Said, I Say

Whenever my mother left the house,
she'd say, 'Where's my hat? I'm going.'
I didn't understand.
'But you haven't got a hat,' I'd say.

Whenever I had wrinkles in my socks
my mother would say,
'Take the bagels out of  your socks.'
I didn't understand.
I'd say, 'I haven't got any bagels in my socks.'

When I went to school,
we sang,
'There is a green hill far away
Without a city wall.'
I didn't understand.
I'd say, 'Green hills don't have city walls.'

At secondary school,
whenever our history teacher lost her temper,
she'd say, 'Great Scott! You're for the high jump!'
I didn't understand.
Who was Scott? Why was he great?
And why did we have to do the high jump?

As we leave for Nursery School in the morning,
I say to my four-year old daughter,
'Where's my hat? I'm going.'
And she says, 'But you haven't got a hat.'

I look at her socks and say,
'Take the bagels out of your socks.'
And she says, 'I haven't got any bagels
in my socks.'

Along the way, I sing:
'There is a green hill far away
without a city wall.'
And she says, 'Why has the green hill
got a city wall?'

And when I say goodbye to her,
I say, 'Great Scott! You're for the high jump!'
And she says,
'No I'm not.'

(Copyright © Michael R

 

 

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