Friday, February 1, 2013


School Days are like Bad Hair Days

Glancing into the rear view mirror of the past,
you realize that all the students you went to school
with were enough to fill a history book.

You can see them on the train, the toughies, cardigan
stretchers, knee-crackers from your primary school.
In your head, they never age, and on hot afternoons
you hear their voices, making sweat trickle down the

blue serge you wore every day. Your neighbour’s
doorbell sounds like the one lifted from the school 
at graduation. And Bronwyn Hobbs is still screaming
across the playground towards Wendy Ballantine.

You need these voices as a reminder of the English teacher
who marched you outside for calling Gloria Cable “Nitsy”
– other culprits getting away with it, as well as smoking
on the train. You weren’t perfect except for the A’s while

their grades dropped as fast as their nickers in beach
volley ball.You forget most of the kids’ names, all
except Fattie Parsons whose father was the local cop,
so you couldn’t call him fat — well not to his face.

What hadn’t dropped off in the scuffle of fights over
the years was already opening onto the road. Your hand
me-down school shoes with cracked uppers, finding the
sting of double-gees in socks hard going up the hill.

You can’t remember what your final term paper said,
but you do remember burning your books, textbooks,
and loose papers, the blackened charred edges curling
somewhere on a reference to William Butler Yeats.



Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

of Arc & Shadow

of Arc & Shadow
Published by Sunline Press, WA

The Joyous Lake

Par écrit

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