I went to a boarding school
All the talk was of David Copperfield
And Oliver Twist
Mine was a school for the sons of ministers.
Got restless, ran away three or four times
Stationmaster at Wakefield got used to me
Turning up, tears coursing
Down my cheeks.
Standards and Ethos
The cane in the corner, leaning against the wall
Think of Kipling's If and that old English idea
Of civilising the Empire.
The school wasn't the worst, but you weren't allowed
To look one another in the eye.
Holding you in eye contact like this, I consider
Myself your equal. This is a crime.
"Lower your eyes down. Don't look at me, boy!"
15 October 2015
From the arthur+martha project Stitching the Wars. A Two year collaboration with older people in Derbyshire, producing two embroidered quilts, a book, interviews and a series of poems.