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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

'My First' - Poem + Workshop Idea

I’m New Here

The students are lining up for lunch.
I don’t know whether to wait with them
or to push to the front,
like the other teachers do.
I’m new here.
It’s my first day of school.

The dinner lady tells me to step forward,
to the top of the queue.
She spoons me an extra large portion,
with four potatoes.
The students get two.

They sit in rows at long tables, locked
in conversation like two sides of a zip.
I’m the only one who chose fruit salad
instead of chocolate cake.
I find an empty space.

I’m new here.
It’s my first day of school.

They’re prodding each other, debating
where to sit. They eye the seats around me
and decide they’d rather stand. 
One of them cracks a joke,
then they all start laughing.

And I’m ten years old again,
alone,

no one to talk to, wanting to belong
more than anything else in the world.
I’m ten years old again,
whispered comments prickling at my back;
my very skin an ill-fitting uniform.

I’m ten years old again,
the new kid
on my first day of school,
my eyes searchlighting the exits,
desperate to run away.  

I take my tray
and eat in the staffroom

.........................................................................................................................................

Can you think of other 'first' experiences to write about? Some possible ideas include:

The first time I got a pet
The first time I saw an adult crying
My first football match
The first time I failed a test...

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