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Walking to School

We’ve upset the Catholics,

the school next door,

no one knows how.

Do the Jesuits bother them?

Learning of burnings ?

Now, vengeful they seek

to brand us with panic,

the ferals from Bernadette’s.

They’re out to stamp

their authority on us

or maybe just to stamp on us.

 

Three of us walking to school.

See now how they coalesce on corners

spilling dark

like dirty oil over kerbs

as autumn starlings

across sea walls,

perhaps thirty of them

faces gargoyle – grey

they clog the way   audacious

proud as dowdy pigeons

puffed with fists,

knuckled    as sharp

as chipped bricks.

We want to run but

we light cigarettes instead,

too frightened to look frightened.

 

Their top man

leers his sneering spots

into my friend’s face.

“Do you want me?” he whispers.

“No,” the reply.

Head butt.

A poppy stain across chalk.

“What’s wrong with me?”

 

Just then everything seemed wrong.

We get an education

walking to school.

 

Published inPoetry

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