My Mother Says

He stomped into the small lounge


And dropped his school kit on the floor

Beside the tutoring table

With a thump.

He eyed the paper doily with its apple juice

And the silver muffin cup

Glinting with bright SKITTLES.


Without a word he sat down

Took a sip of juice and licked his lips.

He toyed with choosing the best colour

For first burst of pre-lesson flavour.

He pulled the Math paper into place

Reaching for a pencil, scorning the rubber.

Bit of a hard day at school?’

No answer. He didn’t look up.


There are three examples to work

Like the ones on your school test

That you X'd with a thick, black marker.

This is a test for me.

I need to understand where you are

Having trouble sorting things out.

Do the best you can so that

I can do the best I can.’


The pencil flew. ‘That is excellent.’

The pencil flew again. ‘Well done.’

He laid it across his completed work

Neatly, like the figures of his computations.

He looked up

His dark eyes bruised with misery.

My mother says

I am just my father’s sperm.’


Cynthia Buell Thomas

◄ Lonely Lady on a Tram Every Morning

Mild February In Manchester, 2019 ►


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Wolfgar Miere

Wed 30th Jan 2019 12:28

I really like the matter-of-factness of this, its observational truth.

It has humour but cuts deep, the seeds of questions planted in young minds that often remain, lingering forever.

Great ponderings Cynthia,


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Tue 29th Jan 2019 17:48

If I've posted this before, I'm sorry. It came up in a file while doing some tidying, and I, myself, found it rather hard to read. Still. And I wrote it. Funny that. Children often have such burdens that grown-ups have no idea about.

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