For A Song


Inking my threadbare elbows in class

my mind roaming beyond the tall windows
to Postman’s Knock and dancing in the dark,
I must have hummed a tune to myself.
My tormentor heard
his eyes already wide,
white at the edges of his mouth.

‘What this time’ I thought
‘stand on the desk and hold up
the ceiling for the next half hour?’
But no. The long march
down the wooden-locker lined corridor
to the punishment room.

They dragged him off in the end
still lashing at my face with the cane
and flapping like a crow in his academic gown
all because I wouldn’t apologise.

I didn’t go to Judy’s party,
inked elbows too thin a disguise,
too thick.

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