Echoing ball-ricochet bang

  • In my year, I was one of the few who actually chose to go to boarding school. It was purely pragmatic: to escape an imploding family fragmenting. I was bullied a bit but i didn’t let it get to me.


    Indoor, drop-kick ball slapped,

    smashed specs badly misshaped

    – I feared that full force whack;

    by sprinting I sometimes escaped;

    otherwise I was captive long,

    common room exit via gym;

    hyena-mock, bull-ring song,

    choices offered somewhat grim.


    Feared ball-ricochet bang;

    inside common-room a choir

    on the old  radio sweetly sang:

    Edwin Hawkins, soul on fire,

    pop tune promise: ‘O happy day,

    Jesus walked, when he walked’


    – this pupil needed to pray


    predators waited, stalked…



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