Thursday, 28 April 2011
All at Sea
They'd said: Bring something you don't mind getting wet,
A towel and something to change into after.
My peers sneered with laughter when I appeared in my pyjamas;
Their derision compounded when it came to pairing partners,
I would make my maiden voyage with our maths teacher - Miss Rahman.
The reservoir had darkened, foaming like a coke float
Bobbing in our squat boat with slack rope and no hope,
We were moored no more, like two odd socks in a drawer,
I was eleven, she was maybe twenty-four -
Stumbled headfirst from Teachfirst, though I never would have guessed -
That morning she'd reprimanded a cheater in a test
School corridors echoed to warn of her approach,
But nobody had told her that she'd have to sail a boat.
Captain Miss and Bosun Me, conquerors of the seven seas,
Molesterers of estuaries and extra-curricularities
Our sails billowed and cracked as the wind tossed us playfully
'Til we span around in circles in our waterlogged dinghy.
All hands on deck were jabbering, jibbering and shuddering
Nobody was jibing and forget about the ruddering.
Our boat was like a thing possessed; the sky was low and thundering
I screamed. Miss Rahman screamed. I realised then that we were hugging.
Maths was my second worst subject after drama -
And I did not want to die in a boat in my pyjamas.
There is lawlessness at sea; I sensed a new impunity
Though I was Year Seven I would lead a mutiny…
A touch away from capsizing, skimming almost vertically
I grabbed the tiller thingy and I tried to tame the dinghy
As Miss Rahman screamed louder I felt suddenly serene
Later she bought me hot chocolate from the vending machine.