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"First Day at School" From THE CHILDREN'S LIBRARY: POETRY, edited by Adrian Sington for ages 8-12 (Simon & Schuster: $10.95).

May 04, 1986|ROGER McGOUGH

A millionbillionwillion miles from home Waiting for the bell to go. (To go where?) Why are they all so big, other children? So noisy? So much at home they must have been born in uniform. Lived all their lives in playgrounds. Spent the years inventing games that don't let me in. Games that are rough, that swallow you up. And the railings. All around, the railings. Are they to keep out wolves and monsters? Things that carry off and eat children? Things you don't take sweets from? Perhaps they're to stop us getting out. Running away from the lessins. Lessin. What does a lessin look like? Sounds small and slimy. They keep them in glassrooms. Whole rooms made out of glass. Imagine. I wish I could remember my name. Mummy said it would come in useful. Like wellies. When there's puddles. Yellowwellies. I wish she was here. I think my name is sewn on somewhere. Perhaps the teachers will read it for me. Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.

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