Thirty-two Years Later

mr sadler with his round face   white coat
still burns in my head
I never liked him
monotonous   unsmiling   limp hair
I never liked the lessons
in the science block   a foreign field
I was out of my depth with rupert brooke
tucked into my text book

thirty two years later
the instructions      I do not remember
heating or sterilising or something
monotonous   unsmiling   limp hair

I remember this
I remember the thrill
the excitement   the undiluted joy
of the bunsen burner      nicky’s idea
to light a fag   not mine      the adrenaline
the smell   the fear
the shame   his face
still burn with me today


This poem can be found in the Independent Variable Anthology

JWH has had poems published with Anchor Books, Poetry Now, Womenswords and Forward Press, where she was the winner of a competition that had her poems included in a limited edition diary in 2004. In 2005 she came fourth in the Forward Press Top 100 Poets of the Year competition. She draws on personal experiences and writes to convey what she can’t verbalise.

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