I’d not heard the sound of Blakey’s segs
for coming up to near thirty years.
Hammered in at the heel like horseshoes,
a pit-pony clopping
down the school corridor.
Friday afternoon, double maths, mocks.
Three months into the strike,
counting what we didn’t have.
Sullivan entered the classroom late,
the stink of diffs in his jacket pocket
as he was placed next to me in class.
Two-tone Sta-Press trousers,
legs outstretched and crossed,
the iridescence of a peacock.
Hauled up to the headmaster’s office
for saying what we were not allowed to ask.
He wrote the word in his lined jotter,
slid it across the desk for me to peek.
It’s been closed all this time. Open up.