A collection of poems and other writings...

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Changing Schools

The car grinds gravel
as it swerves around the Virgin Mary.

It stops in front of the gates:
the car park – puddles and pebbles.

The woman gets out of the passenger’s side
and opens the back door.

"Come on, now," she coos.
"It'll be fine."

One by one,
three children slide across the back seat
and out onto the stony ground.
They huddle round the parent –
ducklings in an elastic bubble –
sheltering in her shadow.

She shepherds them through the gate
and into the asphalt playground.

Three children
in the wrong uniform
cling to her coat
as she scans for a teacher.

A large female
with huge hands
spies her and crosses towards them.

They talk adult
for a moment
before the female
switches to child
her voice simpers
and modulates 
as she invites the three
to go and play on the bars
until play is over.

They move inertly
and stand near the bars
while the mother
weaves out of the playground
issuing smiles, like seeds, to other children,
as if sowing protection for her own.
She waves a quiet goodbye,
climbs back into the car and

A flock of watching infants
has gathered.
They have seen the car pull away
and now
their attention.

The three circle their wagons
and eye each other hopelessly
as the silent tears come.