Posted in Death

Field Trials

Our form master’s office was between the senior rooms
a converted storeroom he called his den
to which pupils were summoned
for discipline
in those days of corporal punishment
signs of ill temper anxiously scanned for.
Or encouragement
evidence of ability but effort is lacking etc etc
“you’re a V8 running on five”
“you’re a racehorse pulling a cart”
Much imitated. Much repeated.

The tone was solemn
he would like to see me – now
in his den
not to worry about class
he would write a note.

Guilt, wildly imaginative
credited teachers with supernatural detection
age knows as seen it all before experience.
Had he found out about…..?

This was a traditional school
we both knew that
“and shouldn’t be doing this during lesson time”
he was speaking in his capacity as football coach
“a lot of the guys were back from last year
there were fewer vacancies than normal
the competition better.”
don’t need to come to training any more.”

For the back story click Backstage
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Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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