It Happened This Morning, Now Everything Has Changed


we were next to the cloak room

five boys back again

same morning routine

everyday at half ten

Jerome had his phone out

with Stormzy on loud

Zak was rhyming along to an invisible crowd

Sean was being his hype man

fingers stabbing the air

Malik was digging his afro comb

into his hair


I was sipping my grape juice

surveying the scene

then I saw her, right there

at the vending machine




Everything froze

Stormzy went silent

my friends struck a pose

It was like someone had pressed pause on the remote for the world

as I tilted my head

and stared at this girl


I don’t know what you call it

I’ve never felt it before

when you feel like you’re floating

but stuck to the floor

and I know it sounds cheesey

I know it’s real lame


But the only thing I cared about

right then

was her name

“Who is she?”

I said

And the world kicked back in.

Zak and Sean with their concert


Malik’s cheeky grin


“Who’s who?”, said Jerome

As he wheeled up the tune

“One more time!” shouted Zak

“The bell’s gonna go soon”.


“She’s amazing”, I said,

quietly, under my breath

as I stared straight ahead

with my friends to my left.


She was stroking her lip

with her coin as she chose

and her uniform looked like

the most perfect clothes


She was older

no question

year eleven, or ten

light years out of my year eight league

but just then,

she looked over

straight at me

and my body went numb

I felt like a planet

that orbits the sun


And right there

in that moment

nothing else mattered

I don’t even care if you think

I’m dramatic

I felt it

She felt it

the forces at play

Then the bell went

she smiled

and just walked away.


It was perfect

and fleeting

a scene from a movie

I felt every emotion

go running right through me


“Yo, back here, lunch time”,

said Zak

as they left.

I just nodded

still trying

to regain my breath.

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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