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An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
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Gareth Owen

My sister Betty said, 'I'm going to be a famous actress,' Last year she was going to be a missionary. 'Famous actresses always look unhappy but beautiful,' She said, pulling her mouth sideways And making her eyes turn upwards So they were mostly white. 'Do I look unhappy but beautiful?' 'I want to go to bed and read,' I said. 'Famous actresses suffer and have hysterics,' she said. 'I've been practising my hysterics.' She began going very red and screaming So that it hurt my ears. She hit herself on the head with her fists And rolled off my bed onto the lino. I stood by the wardrobe where it was safer. She got up saying, 'Thank you, thank you,' And bowed to the four corners of my bedroom. 'Would you like an encore of hysterics?' she said, 'No,' I said from inside the wardrobe. There was fluff all over her vest. 'If you don't clap enthusiastically,' she said, 'I'll put your light out when you're reading.' While I clapped a bit She bowed and shouted, 'More, more!' Auntie Gwladys shouted upstairs, 'Go to bed and stop teasing Betty.' 'The best thing about being a famous actress,' Betty said, 'Is that you get to die a lot.' She fell to the floor with a crash And lay there for an hour and a half With her eyes staring at the ceiling. She only went away when I said, 'You really look like a famous actress Who's unhappy but beautiful.' When I got into bed and started reading, She came and switched off my light. It's not much fun Having a famous actress for a sister.

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