ROUND HERE THE GRASS GROWS AT 5000MPH

Tim Hawkins' poem captures the feeling of growing up too fast during the transition from childhood to adulthood. Illustration by Chengsi Lu.

Round here, the grass grows at 5000 miles per hour
sprinklers spit carelessly onto blankets of moist green
like sheets wet with the seed of teenage dreams.

Round here, girls and boys run barefoot across that lush carpet
shoots chase lifted soles, each footprint a memory
born and dead in the same instant
a Polaroid spontaneously combusting.

Round here, dogs chase cars, snapping at fleeing bumpers
we sit with girls, light cigarettes
and watch them burn away in a single breath.

Round here, hearts beat fast like hummingbird wings
drowning out everlasting promises
scratched in chalk before the rain
and the girls swell like backwards balloons from the pin-prick.

Round here, the grass grows at 5000 miles per hour
I can hear it from my bedroom window
never-ending, pushing us taller, away from infant roots
gravity pulling so light, we fill our pockets with stones
clutch at weighty bottles and hope we don’t float away.

And I sit and listen to that green sea growing
the world turning so fast it crushes my chest
and pins my ears to the side of my head
and I hear my bones creaking and cracking
and I wonder, who will I be when this is over?



'Round here the grass grows at 5000mph' was published in our 5th issue, The Childhood Issue, which has now sold out. To ensure that you never miss a future issue of the print magazine, subscribe from just £10 a year.