Teachers – a commission for #fol2016, Peterborough festival of learning

Absolutely honoured to kick off #fol2016 this morning. Here’s my poem, Teachers.

Teachers
For the ones whose backs I never saw
for the ones who talked in recipes
for the ones who could never spell and/or pronounce my name
for the ones who unpicked stems of daisies
who turned chains into dreamcatchers
for the one who referenced The Smiths at any given opportunity
for the ones with a light that never goes out
who wore energy like scarves
for the one who gave me antidisestablishmentarianism in my year four spelling test
for the ones who wanted quiet
for the ones who said I should speak more
who saw a thread of them in me
for the one who made me eat beetroot
for the one who shouted at the one who made me eat beetroot
for the traditional ones
for the ones with tattoos
who swore without apology
for the one with the bowl of oddly shaped buried treasure
who actually made powerpoints exciting
for the one with lightless eyes
who wore tortoise shell earrings and hid in them when fights broke out
for the one with a belly full of water
who questioned everything
for the ones who smiled often
the ones who knew exactly what I needed
who carried extra pens and built a ladder with them
for the one who said I would only get an A in Maths
for the one who was right
for the ones with soot under their nails
who bit into fireballs
who told me I could do it too
for all of them

the one who stands before you is because of you.

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