First day at school
That doesn’t quite fit
The smell of mum
replaced by the smell of floor polish
food you don’t like
things you can’t do
doing something wrong
being told off
being laughed at
Still, what’s the worst that can happen?
You might die horribly
in the crush to get to the toilets
Or be maimed for life
under the vaulting horse
Or have your ears flicked in assembly
by the naughty boy in the row behind
Or be embarrassed by that girl
from next door but one
Or wee under your desk
But hardly any of these happen.
Particularly the death one.
And you learn to cope with some of the others.
That’s what I learned at school.
(Written for New Beginnings, a Roundabout poetry event at Worthing Library, 28 January 2011)