‘The Kid Before The Mirror’ © Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

‘The Kid Before The Mirror’
© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve never felt important, always was the clown; I sang
a song for sixpence once when auntie Kath came round.
Too shy to stand in front of them I stood in our side room,
my trembling voice it offered up, “From here to there to you’.
I earned that silver ‘tanner’ and they all applauded loud
That little boost of confidence matured this bashful child.
I dreamed of fame and fortune, green grass and life of joy,
I’d stand before the wardrobe mirror and belt out Danny Boy.

Sometimes my brothers caught me in an Elvis Presley pose,
half way through my ‘Blue suede shoes,’ ‘Fever’ or ‘The Rose’.
They’d laugh at Granny’s balding broom I used as my guitar,
I told them all to “sling their hooks!,” convinced I’d be a star.
Before that wardrobe mirror, I honed my showbiz skills,
I dreamed of Nashville, Hollywood and a house in Beverly Hills.
I kept up my rehearsing and increased my repertoire,
and took part in a talent show in Seamus Kirk’s wee bar.

There were six contestants singing, including my good self,
a badly shaking nervous wreck away out of my depth.
I finished sixth, forgot the words, when half way through the song,
Deflated and defeated there, I swore I’d soldier on.
At the tender age of seventeen I bought my first guitar,
I learned three chords and some new songs about the Vietnam war,
’twas then I thought of writing stuff to further my career,
and so the roundabout it turned for another twenty years.

I wrote throughout the troubled times that savaged my dear land,
those days of bombs and bullets that left a million scars.
I wrote of laughter, wrote of tears, learned to cry and curse,
and then I penned some happy poems when Ireland passed the worse.
That old broom that I practised on, that I used as my guitar,
before the antique mirror in my dear old gran’s boudoir,
it was my springboard back then in our cottage in the north,
so too that silver sixpence from my Aunty Kathleen’s purse.

I never got to Hollywood, no house in Beverly hills,
Been blessed to never know the pain celebrity instills,
It’s just been local bars for me, a few bucks now and then,
and life’s been good just jotting down a few words with my pen.
I sing my songs and read my lines but I’ve never closed dream’s lid,
I’m thankful for the ones I love and the laughter of my kids.
I feel that I’m a millionaire that sails life’s happy river,
but forever I will always be, that kid before the mirror.

Joe Canning’s Poetry Page on Facebook

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