All Roads Lead To Seven Sisters – HLR


I am standing on an upturned bin
looking through the little barred window
into the room that I was born in
and everyone is happy
and everyone is asleep
and I pray to a god who keeps on disappearing
and I ask the silent shattered stars above
to make sure that the baby in that room
turns out to be nothing

like me.


I will be reborn several times in my life.
I will be many different people
and wear many different faces
and get a thousand chances
to be better:
I will even take some of them —
when I’m being brave,
I will pick my chances like cherries
roll them between my finger tips
undertake inspection for any imperfections
and then urgently devour the possibilities
that dwell within the cerise skin
and try to be better, better, better at this
of living.

But other times,
when I am feeling weak
and tired from the fight
and am too blind
to see the catastrophe in front of me,
I will gorge on the ugly ones,
the dirty, aphid-covered cherries
the bad opportunities that only
exist to hurt me, to destroy me:
I’ll gobble them up, those bad decisions,
and make myself sick with the consequences.
I’ll wear the juices
of those dangerous cherry-chances
like lipstick, let all the wasted beauty drip
down my chin and spit out the pips
and, knowing that I’ve
missed a chance to be better,
just try my best
to not to get any


One day when I walk the Seven Sisters Road
I will see everyone that I have ever known
and everyone that I will ever meet
in my various little lives
they’ll all combine and line
the street, here, where inertia
grows on trees, where a boy got killed
over a just-shy gram of coke, where the inhabitants
are broke but the system is broker, where I saw my
third dead body in the back of a Vauxhall Nova,
where Papa carried me to Highbury on his
denim-clad shoulders: my story will be
laid out clear for me here,
for this,
this is home
and it will always be
but I’ve got a long way to go
to get to where I’m meant to be.



HLR is a 20-something writer of creative non-fiction, mainly short prose and poetry. She writes about challenging subjects (such as mental illness, addiction, suicide and grief) with brutal honesty and British droll. Her gritty confessional style is one that could only be acquired through years of psychological anguish and too much time in the pub. HLR was born and raised in north London, and is yet to escape. Recent publications can be found here. Read more at

4 thoughts on “All Roads Lead To Seven Sisters – HLR

  1. Pingback: Sunday Best: End of August – FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

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