john tiong chunghoo

Gold Star - 5,668 Points (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

First Day At School - Poem by john tiong chunghoo

first day at school
the first real five hours
away from mom

first day at school
the thin boy, the fat boy,
the quiet boy, the one with the mother

inspired by

First Day at School
A millionbillionwillion miles from home
Waiting for the bell to go. (To go where?)
Why are they all so big, other children?
So noisy? So much at home they
Must have been born in uniform
Lived all their lives in playgrounds
Spent the years inventing games
That don't let me in. Games
That are rough, that swallow you up.
And the railings.
All around, the railings.
Are they to keep out wolves and monsters?
Things that carry off and eat children?
Things you don't take sweets from?
Perhaps they're to stop us getting out
Running away from the lessins. Lessin.
What does a lessin look like?
Sounds small and slimy.
They keep them in the glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass. Imagine.
I wish I could remember my name
Mummy said it would come in useful.
Like wellies. When there's puddles.
Yellowwellies. I wish she was here.
I think my name is sewn on somewhere
Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.
Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.
Roger McGough


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Poem Submitted: Friday, July 1, 2005

Poem Edited: Thursday, September 9, 2010


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