My 16-month old son seems to drift off to sleep equally well regardless of what bedtime story I read to him. So I’ve switched from Winnie-the-Pooh to Les Murray. At risk of breaching copyright, here’s one of tonight’s poems, from the splendid Biplane Houses.

by Les Murray

A man with a neutral face
in the great migration
clutching his shined suitcase
queueing at the Customs station:

Please (yes, you) open your suitcase.
He may not have understood.
Make it snappy. Open it! Come on!
Looking down out of focus did no good.

Tell him to open his suitcase!
The languages behind him were pressure.
He hugged his case in stark reluctance.
Tell him put suitcase on the counter!

Hasps popped, cut cords fell clear
and there was nothing in the suitcase.

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2 Responses to Pressure

  1. Joshua Gans says:

    Wait until you learn there is no difference between The Wiggles and The Beatles in the car.

  2. I hope this poor little guy doesn’t have to put up with this all the time. If you want some better children’s book options check out my blog at While I like Les Murray ,I think your son would enjoy “But where is the Green sheep?” better.

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