Message to my 16-year-old self by Rachel Burns

And we end our set of poems about change of identity with one that our guest editor, Degna Stone, says “is a change that feels familiar, the move from idealistic teen to cynical grown up…”

Home from the late shift

serving lobster and guinea fowl

to the rich folk at The Stile Restaurant.


I rub my sore feet, switch on

the TV and watch the film,

the one where Richard Gere

carries Debra Winger

out through the factory gates.


I was that small town girl

waiting for the white knight

to come and sweep me off my feet.


Now I want to say

fuck that, don’t wait

don’t you dare wait.

That white knight is a myth,

you can do it all on your own.


Rachel Burns’ poems have been published in UK, USA and Canadian literary journals. Shortlisted in competitions Mslexia, Writers’ & Artists Yearbook and The Keats- Shelley Poetry Prize 2017. Anthologised in two Saboteur Awards shortlisted anthologies #MeToo and Please Hear What I’m Not Saying.

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