My Heroes became Trouble


This poem is concerned with the flawed and often ugly humans beneath the myths we write.

The speaker undergoes the process of disillusionment that comes with age and experience, causing this rose tinted lens to become shattered after a traumatic childhood. The speaker’s understanding of the world is fractured, meaning he/she feels out of place, displaced and betrayed. The personification of “Trust” as a game of “cats cradle” links to this problematic, obscure concept that becomes confusing as one moves into adulthood.

Hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did!

My Heroes became Trouble:

I never learnt the most important things at school 

like Gandhi was a Paedophile

the myth of the pull out rule

or that the grapevine can produce

syrup sweet berry juice

and soured blood

dripped into fractured glasses of scarlet wine 

disguised synthesised nursery rhymes 

I can still hear singing

ringing echoes of rich laughter 

from the cave of my childhood.

I recall a familial fear of the dark 

replaced by aching fears of being apart, 

as little girls hold each-other so close they repeat the same heart beat

The monster under the bed was my father.

Except I didn’t know that then— 

Trust was once loyal, a faithful friend

as we wound each other up.

The game was cats cradle, with hidden claws

but all my strings were intertwined

so I went to my mother, who gently brushed out

the tangles in my mind.

by Kitty Connor