Times Tables Champ

‘Basic’ was a hard word to weave into a poem — did anybody else out there have a go at it? I kept coming back to one memory from when I was 9. That memory still stings, so I wrote about that.

Times Tables Champ

Every Friday afternoon was our Times Tables competition,
we stood in twos up the front,
there was always a pause before the teacher called the sum.
I hoped for a basic one,
tens and elevens were best —
my mouth could shout the answer
before my head had heard the sum.
(Fives were good too, but I never liked eights much.)

One Friday I beat the reigning champ.
When I sat down
someone behind me muttered
“You’re not the true champ,
you’ve only won once.”

Rebecca Newman 2014

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Taking a Stand

Sally really set me a challenge this time. I thought ‘independent’ would be the toughest word to work into a poem but actually ‘rough’ and ‘gone’ were much harder. I had already sketched out a lot of the poem before I realised that I was scratching my head to find the right word to rhyme with ‘gone’ and I began to think that perhaps a rhyming poem wasn’t such a grand idea after all. But it was too late to turn back …

In the end, here’s what I came up with!

Taking a Stand

I got up when the clock went off,
unasked, I tied my shoes.
I did the crossword by myself
by working out the clues.
I packed my bag without complaint —
my lunchbox and my rough
copy of my book review
and all the other stuff.
I caught the bus to school at eight,
I caught it home at three.
You’d gone to fetch the grandmas so
I chopped the spuds for tea.
I didn’t need reminding
to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please,’
I’m really INDEPENDENT and —
I choose
not
to
eat
these
peas
.

copyright Rebecca Newman 2014

Fond Farewell

Bye Mum!

We’re off!

I give her

The quickest of waves

Brushing past

Billy and Sam

As I race for the door.

I’m quick

But not quick enough.

Nothing can stop

a mother with a thirst

for embarrassing her offspring.

Wait, she orders.

You forgot something.

Mwah!

She plants a big kiss

on my  red cheek.

Billy and Sam snigger

As I wish

somebody would invent

mother-repellent.

 

Sally Murphy, 2014