Shauna Darling Robertson, ‘Don’t’
About Shauna Darling Robertson:
Shauna grew up in the north-east of England and now lives in the south-west. Her poems for adults and children have been performed by actors, displayed on buses, used as song lyrics, turned into comic art and made into short films, as well as being published in many and varied anthologies and magazines. Shauna’s first collection for children, Saturdays at the Imaginarium (Troika, 2020), was a National Poetry Day 2021 selection. Her second, You Are Not Alone (Troika, forthcoming in January 2023), focuses on teen and young adult mental health, and has received support from Arts Council England. Shauna has two poetry chapbooks for adults, Blueprints for a Minefield (Fair Acre Press, 2016) and Love Bites (Dancing Girl Press, 2019). www.shaunadarlingrobertson.com
Don’t disturb your mother
while she’s busy causing cheese
and forcing self-made sandwiches
to boil, to fry, to freeze.
Don’t disrupt your father
while he’s yakking with a horse.
I think they’re talking tackl-ish
(your Dad’s been on a course).
Don’t alarm your sister
while she’s cooking quantum cake.
When splitting chocolate atoms
it’s essential not to shake.
Don’t distract your brother
while he’s counting underwater
and trying hard to work out who’s
his grandma’s auntie’s daughter.
Don’t annoy your uncle
while he’s cycling in a skirt.
For sure, his knees are nobbled
but don’t say so (he’ll be hurt).
Don’t bother any one of us,
or ask us any stuff.
And please don’t be nonsensical.
This family’s odd enough.