Class of '52
entering the room
for ones we know
She, so active behind the bike shed, repents, takes holy orders,
gives them back, weds a gambler and a number of others. He,
brightest in our class, gets to Oxbridge, discovers dope, drops
out, hits a cop, gets clean, counsels the homeless.
She, with the port wine stain who hides her face, seeks
answers from a specialist, wins the title 'Miss Brigend',
produces a brood of six with several lovers.
a size too large
He, never academic, trains as a roofer, falls down on the job,
wakes from a coma, builds a future out of new and safer
wheelchairs. She, little Miss Charity – ever helping others – helps
herself to a widow's pension, wears the pallor of time inside,
applies for benefits.
Friends reunited over coffee and cake: Pam, Rod, Lynn, Brian,
Janey and I.
We meet today. Just one of us without a stick, and none with
much to say.
the bell rings for break
time to mess about in the yard
days like this of fun and innocence
From Peter Butler's new collection, A Piece of Shrapnel, HUB Editions, December 2012.