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Poetry Pleases: Innards

Barbara Tregonning's poem focuses on the "delights'' of being a boarder at a school far from home.

Boarders' sport.
Sodden playing field.
Toes screaming with chilblains.
Hockey is a small hate.
"Not built for speed,"
Patriarch pronounces cheerfully.
"Aaah. Our lass has other talents."
That's the Matriarch,
But none of them
Three hundred miles away
Know the horrors of Innards.
Boarders' tea:
"Grace, girls, bow your heads."
Shoulder to shoulder
Along the narrow tables,
Squeezing toes up -
Press one foot on the other
To ease the maddening itch.
Ballarat in winter.
Furtive glance
From under pious lids
Until Amen.
The maids come.
Sick beige tripe in suffocating folds,
Or kidneys with drain pipe veins.
If I could just die.
Mid-term holidays
Impossibly distant.


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