for Wayne Allston
I was fatherless, but so I think were you.
If I could somehow lace the past back up,
I would have let you keep my black school
shoes you flogged in PE. I didn’t realise you
were wintering barefoot, trudging to school
for you daily dose of being frozen out. Pencils
borrowed never returned. Pigsey told me this.
How I resisted my meekness & tackled you,
stripping my shoes off your feet as though your
clothes were burning. Only shame ignites now,
thirty-four years later, the heat you must have felt
when I ripped them off. My nikoed name fading.
In Turvey’s system we were equally maths dumb.
Out of all the class, we were always left standing.