The Saturday Party

(After Browning)

The dusky storm and the grey half-light,
The whispered word and a muffled tread,
A hasty rummage for clothes known well
By the musky Saturday Party smell;
The sound of whispering; “Where’s the bread?”
And, “Don’t do my ruc-sac up so tight.”

“Look, here are the valves, but your tyre’s flat;
Oh, d—n it! I’ve left the pump upstairs;
Quick, fetch it will you, and don’t forget
We haven’t unearthed the butter yet.
And we need a billy; but still, who cares,
A jam-tin does, if it comes to that.

Come, we’re ready, let’s start at last;
Don’t fool with the spanner, your seat’s all right!
For H–‘s sake hurry, it’s half past six;
This way, but look out for the broken bricks
The day’s at the dawning, sky cloudless and bright –
Now, fifteen miles, and we break our fast!”

School poems