Going to school

We are all three children
ready for school at last.
But who can go this morning?
Mum sits on the stairs crying
railing against our tardy ways.
She complains of our constant
losing of gloves and hats
not to mention sports kit
and of how hard it is to get us all ready.
My little brothers stand open-mouthed
frightened by this collapse of motherhood.
Older, I am far more worried about not
getting to school on time.
I’m still not allowed to walk there on my own
although the neighbour’s girl my age can,
and I’m wary of shepherding two
wayward little boys across the road to the school.
But, as Mum raises her voice in yet another wailing moan
I decide this must be done.

I pat her on the hand, and tell her
that I’ll do it today, then
I open the door.
Suddenly, I’m slapped, shouted at
called a little madam.
Suddenly, it’s fine for Mum to take us.
Crying, I hop from foot to foot
impatiently as she gets ready,
her ‘face’ needs to be put on which
always takes forever.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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