Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Won’t be long till summer time is through

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had panicking about not having enough polo shirts, and tomorrow
We shall have realising that the second-hand plimsolls are too small and
We will return to Happy Feet yet again. But today,
Today we have naming of parts. The summer holidays glisten like a long ago memory,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the packet of labels I ordered from Easy 2 Name. And this
Is the dusty sewing box from under the bed. This is the needle and this is the thread
And this is the Mummy who is good at sewing,
Which in your case you have not got. It is too late now to discover that
Easy 2 Name also sell iron-on labels,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the pile of little grey trousers and here are the tiny navy jumpers
And surely anyone who fits into these is too small for school. Please do not let
Anyone see me having a snivel as my fingers stumble over the needle.
It should be quite easy to walk them to the gates and watch them fly. The children
Already at school are strong and brave, never letting anyone see
Any of them having a snivel.

And this you can see is the lunch-box. The purpose of this
Is to house nutritious homemade food which will be swapped for crisps. The lunch-box
Has its own label because like everyone else we bought the Bart Simpson one:
We call this doing our best. And rapidly backwards and forwards
All the other parents wash and sew and name and label.
They call it doing our best.

They should improve the shoe labels for it is not easy to press them
Inside the stiff black leather. The labels stick to fingers and table and everything
Except the insole, and we decide like our mothers before us to use an indelible pen
Which in our case we have not got; but a biro will do well enough and anyway
By the end of the day all the children will know whose is whose and what is what,
For today we have naming of parts.

Beth Miller, 19th August 2010. With apologies to Henry Reed. Published in and Viva Lewes magazine, September 2011

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