In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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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