Enjoy abseiling, hang-gliding, rollercoasters.
Are sloping off for a sly fag mid-morning.
Don’t care what they eat: fish suppers,
pizza, doughnuts, Campbell’s meatballs.
Will open that second bottle.
Are the bad girl in Grease, all surly attitude
leading to ruin. Don’t care about their career,
spend six months in the Andes. Won’t fasten their seatbelt
in the back, particularly not for short hops.
Spend up each month, never save,
always run petrol down to the fumes.
Are jaywalking across intersections
in a country where traffic comes at you
on the other side to home.
About this poem
Jay Whittaker grew up in Devon and Nottingham and has lived and worked in Edinburgh since 1995. Her pamphlet Pearl was published in 2005 by the Selkirk Lapwing Press. Recently her poems have been longlisted for the Mslexia annual competition, accepted for publication in Envoi, and shortlisted for a Scottish New Writers 2016 Award. She was mentored by the Cinnamon Press in 2015 and her first full-length collection, Wristwatch, will be published by Cinnamon Press in autumn 2017.
This poem is one of the editors’ highlighted selection of poems from an open call for readers’ proposals from the second edition of Tools of the Trade: Poems for new doctors.