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Growin’ up with Emily

Anushka Shah paints a picture of adolescent friendship in this sweet poem.

We’re sat in Emily’s car,  

the three of us,  

all berry-mouthed 

our sunglasses tucked 

in beach-bleached hair  

and sand still stuck  

in the eyelets next to laces, 

sat on towels,  


And on shuffle comes 

that Radiohead song 

that reminds me of 

something I can’t remember

– it doesn’t matter, anyway – 

there is only today, 

this fast-slow day. 

Each time I dip my toes 

in the wake of the waves of the

future, the wake ebbs over them, 

then shrinks away.  

We’re sat in Emily’s car, 

and Emily asks 

if we were fated to be friends, 

whether we would’ve found each

other, had we not met how we did. 

I say yes, 

I am sure of it. 

Just how  

some people are born 

with reading holes for eyes – 

they do not merely read

books but devour them – 

we were surely born  

to find ourselves in this car 

as the sand dries 

and falls off our feet…  

How many grains of sand 

does it take to make a heap? 

And Abbie pipes up – 

you’re being too deep. 

And we’re laughing again 

like we do on the beach. 


the sun is setting, 

you can picture the scene: 

three girls sat dangling 

out the doors of a car, 

sea salt and suncream, 

we dream, 

we dream.

Image Credit: Jasmine Lowe

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