Learning To Read

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Learning To Read


Words abandoned me

When I were at Primary

Didn’t make sense no more

Like when me Dad and me

Made up stories

And created crazy characters

Like Fezzypeg

Who me Dad said were a cat

That owned a record shop

And talked and walked on his hind legs

And though I couldn’t always keep in mind

Everything I was told at other times

And I fell over

And I couldn’t catch a ball

Or decipher those clock hands

Or handstand or cartwheel

Or skip or do claps

Or cat’s cradle at all

And I got lost

Walking down a straight hall

I always understood

All the colours and the waves

And every word’s shape

They stretched towards me

Surrounded me and I heard

And from the stories I spoke

My all over the place head held tight to

Every syllable

Every sound

Illustrations never sketched

Sentences never written down

But with pencil pressed into tiny hand

Or open page etched

With uncrackable code

I couldn’t do it

And they said I were thick

It didn’t make any sense

Those hieroglyphs and squiggles

That tidy typed scrawl

Arranged in tidy lines

They wouldn’t turn into words

And colours and sounds

No matter how hard I tried

And I tried

I really tried

I watched me feet when I were running

Practiced claps and cat’s cradle

And kept me eyes on the ball

Until I realised

That maybe I were thick after all

Now time has passed

And people pay me

For my words

For my colours and my shapes

For my sounds and my waves

For my poems and stories and songs

So maybe

Just maybe

Them teachers was wrong

◄ Learning To Read

Quoting Mikey Wong: "Poetry Is Gay" ►


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Wed 30th Mar 2011 21:48

I'd agree with Julian - what a brilliant poem!

I think that modern schools have gone a long way to making children not feel thick. (One of my sisters used to be sent out gardening whilst everyone else worked towards the 11+) It's going to be hard to help such kids with all the funding cuts ahead of us though.

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Julian (Admin)

Wed 30th Mar 2011 21:40

This is superb Gemma. And there is nothing finer than someone - a writer - who has something to say, and knows exactly how to say it. You are a magical poet.

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melanie coady

Wed 30th Mar 2011 19:50

brilliant hun xx well written

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Dave Bradley

Wed 30th Mar 2011 09:11

Excellent, Gemma. Another poem which helps the reader to tune in to what someone else has been facing. I liked the T-shirt too!

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Wed 30th Mar 2011 05:18

I love this, Gemma!
A great poem that highlights what a child goes through and feels when affected with a learning disabilty. It is so important for children to know that they are unique and valued. A child reading this poem would feel hopeful and inspired.

I am moved by your understanding and care to write about such things.

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