Writing Place 2021

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Four Decades

By Steph Amir

Sit down. Sit up. Stand still. Stop fidgeting. Why aren’t you paying attention? Look at me when I’m talking to you. Come back here this instant. Don’t make me repeat myself. Wait your turn. Don’t be so rude. Stop fussing. Why can’t you be like the other kids?

Emma is clever but her focus in class is poor. Emma often fails to listen to instructions. Emma can be disruptive. At times she is disrespectful. Emma needs to apply herself to achieve her full potential. Emma has detention this afternoon due to an inappropriate emotional outburst.

What a mess. Can you stop talking for once? Don’t be so bossy. We need someone with better attention to detail. You’ve lost your wallet again? It’s not that hard to be on time. It’s not that noisy. Just make a decision. Why are you freaking out about this? I think your cake is burning.

It sounds like you’re anxious. Depressed. Too much of a perfectionist. Antidepressants might help. Have you checked your thyroid? Haemoglobin? Vitamin D? Everyone’s stressed nowadays. It’s all the coffee you drink. It’s because you’re addicted to your phone. Have you tried meditation? Yoga? Maybe you’re hypoglycaemic. You’ll be right.

Hi Em, How are you and the kids? Did you get the invite for my 40th? I can’t believe we’re so old now, haha. I saw this article and it reminded me of what you said about why you hate supermarkets! It’s about women with ADHD and how they go undiagnosed for decades. Argh, the patriarchy. Anyway, see you Saturday. Xo


About Steph Amir

Steph Amir has a background in public policy and research. Her creative work has been published in Archer, Babyteeth, Bent Street, Echidna Tracks, n-Scribe, Red Room Poetry and the Melbourne City of Literature UNESCO postcard series. Steph lives with the ongoing impacts of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This poem was inspired by the people who recently nudged her towards being assessed for ADHD. Her life is better because of it.


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