People with kids look tired.
People with kids age fast and put on weight rapidly.
People with kids are always busy but get nothing done
and drive to places that kids like
so the kids have other kids to be with and the people with kids
have other people to leave their kids with
when they want to feel like people without kids.
People with kids are grown-up people.
People with kids sigh and smile and say
kids change your life, you can’t imagine.
People with kids say sorry for talking about the kids
but talk about their kids.
People with kids call kids small people.
People with kids have one way of talking to people with kids
and another way of talking to people without kids.
People with kids sit and talk to each other about how
having kids makes them remember all sorts of stuff about
when they were kids and how their parents talked to them as kids
but now they hear themselves saying the same things
to their own kids, isn’t it amazing?
People with kids pity people without kids.
People with kids are delighted when the people without kids
announce they are going to have kids
because now they will no longer have to
envy the people without kids all the things they can do
and the holidays they can have without kids because
now those people will start feeling just as
old and fucked as they do, which serves them right
for not having kids before.
People with kids have more kids.
Peter Spafford lives in Leeds. His plays have been widely performed in the UK and on Radio Four. He works as Director of Spoken Word at Chapel FM and does a variety of writing work in prisons, schools, museums and hospitals. He was long-listed for the 2015 National Poetry Competition and this poem is from Quick, his first collection.