Wednesday, 9 September 2015

WHEN JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES WERE SHAKIN’ ALL OVER, I WAS DOING THE SAME AS I HANDED MY FIRST SCHOOL REPORT TO MY MOTHER (1960)


It was a good report, so one of the teachers said.  My mother sat and read it.
Her face was still as she concentrated on the information.
I watched for a twitch here and there but nothing for a while
Until her mouth slowly widened into the biggest, brightest smile.

She ruffled my hair and hugged me, saying “well done” twice,
I think I blushed, I know I blushed. “What a clever wee boy.”

“7 out of 10 for Sums,
10 out of 10 for Spelling,
8 out of 10 for Reading,
6 out of 10 for Writing,
8 out of 10 for Composition,
Class 3B, 8th out of 45 children”

And one begrudged word at the bottom under remarks:
“Pass”. 8th and only “Pass”.

I was entitled to one-seventh of her time and attention
But that late afternoon it was just us, no brothers or sisters,
Her smile beaming and her eyes lit,
One-seventh share of her time and attention,
But, briefly, I had all of it.

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