sent for by the headmaster
in trepidation I ventured forth
through unfamiliar blunted corridors
then finally to face the man
in tweed jacket, piercing glasses
his back was turned busy at a cupboard
I knew he kept his cane in there
instinct told me, amongst other
known only to top men in charge.
then a brief acknowledgment
a surprise by way of his using my first name
a hint of pleasure and relief as he peeled off
a newly arrived small book
of descant recorder tunes
for two players from Oxford University Press.
I thought we could run through a few of these
he said, and so we did in perfect concourse
like two birds tweeting in the stuffy air
with natural flair at my primary age
while nymphs smiled down from shelves
amongst sports cups, busts of the great composers.
He played the cello, lived on the river
watched us grow, looked after the teachers.
I was as good a reader as he, I knew
and he knew this too
this much only we shared.