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.