It (a poem)

My son is struggling at the moment with school anxiety. This is for him...


Another photo – kid in school uniform - 
new ribbons in plaits doused in nit repellant
Smart hair £8 at the foreign barber’s in town

*Insert shop label* (elitist?)
*Insert school* (abbatoir?)
*Insert toothpaste brand* (fake toothy smile?)

I am not allowed to refer to *it* (school) - that hellhole
I am screamed down, sworn at; *it* demonised

*it* is not a quirky grin on your face when you get home
*it* is not a spring to your heels as you see the bus
*it* is not a babble of news about your day of learning

Maybe you will stream through the door
This morning, like the sun yawned til you woke
Maybe chirp, ‘love you, you loon’…

Put on your uniform, slick your hair
Guzzle pop-tarts for breakfast, cup of cha
Smile, ‘bye mum,’ as you hop on the bus

Maybe not…


*If you don’t know what a ‘twagger’ is, it means a truant.

Giz a fag, Sarah, giz a fag
A single prize possession from the time when you
Could go into a corner shop
And ask for just one solitary piece of heaven.
10p please, 10p,
For we don’t care if you are a Jackie reading twelve year old
And you have lovely, sweet, bubblegum pink lungs
And we are an exploitive catalyst
In your future nicotine addiction.

We strike the solitary Swan brand match,
Huddled in a gaggle of expectant, excited girly girls
Feeling hard for a few minutes, feeling tough as shit
And saying fuck you to the rotten institution
Saying fuck you to our proletariat parents, our dog-tired teachers
Defiance as we inhale our teen rebellion
And exhale the gradual death of childish innocence.

It feels bloody good
To escape the concrete prison walls
To dice with the flaky establishment
To fuck with the rules, to stick two proverbial fingers
Up at the big, red brick, heart sick wall
To embrace the philosophy of Pink Floyd
To break the mould, to smash the expectation
To be a precise square peg in a chaotic round hole.

Giz a fag, Sarah, giz a fag
Giz a fag.

© Sarah Drury 2019