BEST AT THE BACK 1956

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 30, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 30, 2016

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Old Mrs Murphy
made sure we were all
sitting quietly
in the classroom
and she began talking
about codes and puzzles

I sat watching
her plump frame
move bit by bit
by the blackboard
a long ruler
in her hand
pointing at the board
and occasionally
if someone
wasn't listening
at the pupil

she wore glasses
and her grey hair
was curly and permed

as I looked
away from her
I saw Janice
sitting near the front
(a place I tried
to avoid)
gazing at the teacher

I liked her
we were friends
and her grandmother
with whom she lived
(I had no idea
what happened
to her parents)
allowed her out with me
because she said
I was trustworthy
(to a degree)

Janice wore
a grey skirt
and red cardigan
and her hair
was neatly brushed
and tied
with a red ribbon

Benny are you listening
to what I am saying?
Mrs Murphy said

I looked back
at the teacher
and nodded
yes Miss
I said
looking at the board
behind her
where 2 lines of letters
were scribed

what have I
been talking about?
She asked
eyeing me severely

a code?
I said

and what is the code?
She asked

the class was silent
all eyes on me

I stared at the board
the top letters
are substituted
by the lower letters
to make
a coded message
I said

she raised
her eyebrows
so you have
been listening
good
she said
and turned back
to the class

Janice was looking at me
her blue eyes sparkling

I smiled
and she smiled
then turned back
to the teacher

I was glad
I remembered
the code
from the Eagle comic
I read
it saved my skin
or hand
from a smack
that was why
I liked it best
at the back.


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