new school


Johnny get your friggin' shoes on quick,
your daddy's coming soon to pick us up;
and don't forget your schoolbag and your lunch,
I did you egg, I know you like it best.
He's here, don't keep him waiting, he'll be tired,
his first night shift, and button up your coat,
don't worry, the teachers all seem very nice,
and after school there's beans and sausage for your tea.

Do you think he'll be alright, he seems so small
and I find it hard, next door keeps watching through the nets,
and you, you must be tired working through the night.
I'll do some eggs and bacon, that'll cheer us up, but
that's not tired, stop it, what will the neighbours say
eat your bacon, I'll wash up, then close the bedroom curtains for the day.

my first ever sonnet! January 2003

I had been reading Ruth Padel's book "52 ways of looking at a poem" and she relates (p. 15) meeting the poet John Wain who was excited after hearing a mother on a bus scold her child in perfect Iambic pentameter "Your face is dirty, don't you ever wash".

I was experimenting myself seing how ordinary speech could take on a formal structure and so wrote the first quatrain just to play.

But then I found I liked this woman and wanted to know more about her, hence continued with this little vignette. She is not a woman who can easily express in words her tenderness for her child and husband, but demonstrates in the way women always have.

For the purist: I do know that I stretch my feet somewhat as the sonnet progresses.


Alan Dix © 2003