Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Cut Those Weapons

Cut those weapons

the science teacher barked

at the smallest girl in the class;

and my eyes dropped

from hers

to my proudly unbitten finger nails.

Symbolic swords I polished

to deflect words only words

but a whole school life

of words flicked and punched.

Go back, run up again

behind the line, in the sand

high jump, do it again

too high, couldn't jump

shout again, start again.

Badder body every time

reduced to clod iron feet

and thrown to the pack,

my face undoing till the tears came.

They taught me useless.

In mathematics I learnt helpless.

My fingernails uncut weapons

buried numb in my fist

hiding the birth of my anger,

as the teacher threatened

to move some misbehaver

to the empty desk

beside the boy

who always sat on his own.

Just after I left

the headmaster

made a newspaper statement

that bullying had no place

at Boswells School.

Thirty years later

I can still feel the sting.

No comments:

Post a Comment