You’re Not Going Out Like That!

You’re not going out?
Not looking like that?
You look just like something
Brought in by the cat.
People will laugh at you,
Neighbours will stare.
That outfit. Those colours.
And as for that hair …

You’re not going out
When you look such a mess?
After all that I’ve said
About sensible dress.
I’ll disown you; I promise.
I’m telling you flat:
You’re not going out, Dad,
Not looking like that!

First published in ‘Parents Keep Out!’, edited by Brian Moses, published by Macmillan, 2001