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Early Learning

Primary School was so exciting...

Aged about seven, I was eager to learn.

Miss Parker, our teacher, was not inviting

But tightened her lips and

Made my face burn.

Miss taught reading, writing

And arithmetic, too.

She made me feel like a monkey

Escaped from some zoo.

Yet she told thrilling stories

And read simple rhymes

About Greeks And Romans

In long ago times...

Near Christmas, Miss made us pen

Short festive lines -

Then stand up and recite to the class.

When it came to my turn,

I read out mine -

And thought them quite good -

About robins, sleds and church bells.

'Come over here, Dallison,' she called.

'You've cheated - you can't write this well'

Then rapped me hard on my knuckles.

The pain was like tigers,

It made my knees buckle.

I felt both hot and cold,

Ashamed and angry,

I was very upset - but refused to cry.

After enduring Miss's early learning lesson, it would be many years before I tried to be clever or wrote another poem.


53 views3 comments


Dawson Stafford
Dawson Stafford
Apr 06, 2023

Very personal and brave words my freind. Thankfully real talent may be suppressed but never lost!


Nigel Smith
Nigel Smith
Apr 06, 2023

Dreadful are the cuts and bruises we acquire and scar us so deep.

Thank you John for such a personal poem.


Stephen Kingsnorth
Stephen Kingsnorth
Apr 05, 2023

How many bursts of creativity were/are smothered rather than nurtured... A sad, sad story in repeat...

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