Sunday, March 21, 2021

MORECOMBE PROMENADE 1953

 

Full circle

 

I saw him leave a pretty girl

and walk over the road

for round two

carrying the gravity of a grown man

but still with a youth’s speed

and adding a corporal’s strips.

 

I said to my girls, Just walk on. Go!

Which they did, for the first time ever,

without question or complaint;

their female antennae sensed

the danger in my voice

as I saw in my mind’s eye

 

him back 10 years and inside a circle

of part shocked, but mainly thrilled, pupils

punching the shit (and dentures) 

out of Mr Porter.

And curing him forever, I’m fairly certain,

of his famous facetiousness.

 

I tried not to look hostile or too afraid.

He noted my girls who had stopped

at safe distance and were watching.

Clearly understanding the intention

and my expectation of, at 51 years old,

another fistfight.

 

Excuse me, Sir, you won’t remember me, but…

I remember you, Williams.

I just came over to tell you, Sir,

you were right and  I want to apologise

for my behaviour back then.

Seemingly, the Army finally did what I tried to do.

 

Well, I’m glad to hear that you

are keeping out of trouble? 

Well, sort of, Sir. I’m putting it to

best use in the boxing ring.

I’m Northern Area Army Champion.

And so, we chatted for a while


his girlfriend was brought over

who turned out to be his fiancée.

Congratulations were given and

had I not been with the girls

I would have suggested a celebratory drink.

Never was one warranted more.

 

Removed from his angrier younger self

he had become a personable young man

and hardly carrying menace, excepting

a physique which suggested

the ability to prevail.

30 years of teaching and every day

 

a fresh lesson, and this the best.

A kid just not kitted out for school

who finally found his feet when

he found a better use for his fists.

Bad boy made good, my own tiny role

a justification for tonight’s whisky.


This poem is a true story. And it is a story that is nearly always true about a pupil, no matter who they are; time fixes things.

This is from my Queens of the Reich which is linked above.

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