|Photograph by Lynn M. Reid|
I apologize if this is your school, but I thought that this picture goes well with Bruce Hodder's first poem. As it turns out, one of the roofs to the right is that of a prison. The sky is oppressive, too.
The Hierarchies of School
At my school, punks were bullies.
Like society in microcosm,
they reinforced convention
and they reified the dumb.
They preyed like wolves on the clever kids.
They were always knocking glasses off
and smacking small kids in the corridors.
They mercilessly mocked a boy
who walked on crutches from the NHS,
and Indians were ‘pakis’
in their lexicon of spite.
The punks made school life miserable
for anybody who they could isolate;
but they didn’t touch the black kids.
When the black kids were around,
the punks were timid, like their victims.
Only one boy who years later
joined the Army, took their leader on.
He was being the biggest thug in school,
but such a posh kid no one noticed.
They noticed it that day though,
when he bounced a Rastafarian
like a dead weight round the bandstand
in the park, while fifty watched and jeered.