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Poetry Pleases: When I Grow Up

Joyce Worsfold's poem about children's ambitions says a great deal about changing times - and says it with a smile.


Well Iím 8 now and Iíve given it a lot of thought
And I reckon Iíve got 3 choices
Fro the stuff I have been taught
Either I could be a postie
But Itíd have to be on a bike
I canít drive you see, though I suppose I could hike
Or I could do what my Dad does
And thatís paint covers for toilet rolls
I could be an ice-cream man
I think thatís the one Iíd really like to be
But Iíd have to be very careful
And ration myself to say, two or three
On a very hot day
Otherwise it wouldnít pay.


Iíd like to be a best man when I grow up
I saw one at a wedding, he held up this glass cup
Everyone seemed to like him and laughed and clapped a great deal
And afterward you have a meal
With cheescake and wine and sausages on sticks
Iíd like all that and Iím good at funny bits
When my Mam said you have to be a man to be one, I cried
But maybe, perhaps Iíll be a bride.


Well, my Dad thinks I should be an architect
ĎCos Iím good at drawing plans
I drew some for the rabbit hutch
For me Grandad up at me nans
An architect is posher than a plumber like me Dad
But Iíd rather be a plumber and my Dad does drive a Jag!


Iíd like to work at Tesco
At the check-out bit
And slide packets and tins about
Itís really cool and fit
You get a lot of money from cheques and cards and cash
And keep it in the till until you collect your stash.


Iíd like to be a dinner lady
But my Mum says I canít
Apparently you have to be a womanÖ and I arenít
So the I thought Iíd be a sweeper of tents
I did it on holiday and earned £8 fifty pence.
Best of all I would be a cigarette roller
I saw a man doing it once and I never saw ought cooler
He had this little machine, and tiny paper sheets
And some tobacco, he also had big feet.


When I grow up Iím going to drive a lorry
It will be ginormous
And anyone who gets in the way will be sorry.
Only thing is Iím not right sure about reading maps
Books are bad enough
But you have a bed in the back for taking naps
And a fridge for your beer and stuff


Iím going to be a strong man
Iíve been practising a lot, lifting tins
The best weights are big tins of beans
They build your muscles really strong
AND I do press-upsÖbut not for long

Rachel aged 10

We went on a school trip-
To find how a hotel works
There were maids and laundry people,
Porters, receptionists and clerks
There were a lot of jobs there
The personnel officer said
But she kept going on about business men
And I really saw red.
ĎExcuse meí says I ĎDonít business women stay hereí
She went quite pink and said ĎOh yes, quite a few this year
And it is estimated that by the year 2010
Fifty percent of our executives will be women.í
I smiled because itís very plain to see
That one of them will certainly be me.


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