As I Watch

At the back of maths

while the rest of the class tackle graphs

Jack and Matt pass a note back and forth and cackle laughs.

Dominique is doing this thing with her feet, making both her heels squeak on the leg of her seat

Morgan is awkwardly trying to yawn caught between feeling naughty and boredom

Alissa and Kirstie sit earnestly working in search of a word of approval from sir

Gemma and Tristan pretend that they’re listening nodding in synch to prove that they’ve heard

Abdul is scribbling circles in curves filling his page with whirlpools of o’s

Dylan’s pretending he’s scratching his forehead secretly digging his thumb up his nose

Famida’s inspecting her nails like a surgeon

Arif is sneakily checking his phone

Dominic’s holding his head like it’s hurting

Abe is just slumped like a lump of old stone

And I sit, watching, drinking them in

making up rhymes for the lives that they live

Cos that’s my thing, sitting to the side, silently rhyming

capturing time with each blink of my eyelids

recording it all in a verse for just me

On my own in my head til the bell sets us free

And as we walk out I give my words marks our of ten

then head straight to next lesson where it all starts again.

Copyright: from Everything All At Once (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2018), © Steven Camden 2018, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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Steven’s poems bring us into the familiar world of school – but with his sharp eye for detail, as well as his talent for creating ...

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