Victoria Pickup

Little did I know

There was a someone out there
the North to my South
and he spoke with a Mancunian accent.

That when he was growing his lungs
in an incubator, with no one to visit him
I hadn’t come into existence yet.

I watched the rise and fall of his tiny chest
from the ether.

When at last I came screaming into this world,
he would be building sandcastles under Blackpool lights
and placing his toys in a box for the third time.

That when I was revising for my GCSEs
He was sitting his A levels, both bowed
before Post It note shutters on cupboard doors.

We’d have the very same desk lamp from Argos,
our funnel of light.

That we’d lose our virginities simultaneously
sharing in pain and heartbreak, balancing
the giddy skip of infatuation on a see-saw –

it’s base set in the Midlands,
somewhere around Loughborough.

That I didn’t know what real love was.


Victoria Pickup is a previous winner of the Ernest Frost Prize and Café Writers competition. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies, magazines and online, most recently Nine Muses, Peeking Cat, Runcible Spoon and Reach Poetry. In 2018, Victoria co-founded the Inkpot Writer’s Group in Hampshire.

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