First Day at School

by Roger McGough

A millionbillionwillion miles from home

Waiting for the bell to go. (To go where?)

Why are they all so big, other children?

So noisy? So much at home they

Must have been born in uniform

Lived all their lives in playgrounds

Spent the years inventing games

That don’t let me in. Games

That are rough, that swallow you up.

And the railings

All around the railings.

Are they to keep out wolves and monsters?

Things that carry off and eat children?

Things you don’t take sweets from?

Perhaps they are to stop us getting out

Running away from the lessins. Lessin.

What does a lessin look like?

Sounds small and slimy.

They keep them in the glassrooms.

Whole rooms made out of glass. Imagine.

I wish I could remember my name

Mummy said it would come in useful.

Like wellies. When there’s puddles.

Yellowwellies. I wish she was here.

I think my name is sewn on somewhere

Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.

Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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