Gert Strydom

Gold Star - 29,864 Points (03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Where They Belonged - Poem by Gert Strydom

When I was in metric
(now grade twelve)
in the agricultural science class
an English girl took a chair
next to me
who had a secret crush
without getting
any attention from me.

I just wasn’t taken with her
and she was a little brash
and they lived
on the other side
of the railway tracks
and she had a reputation
of sleeping around.

When we studied
animal copulation
she acted as if
she didn’t really understand
and asked me some questions
which made me blush
and it was clear
that she had other plans instead.

Ignoring her didn’t help much
and heart broken she went to cry
on her sister’s shoulder
who was my class teacher
and taught me English
at the time.

We did an IQ test
(the first in my years at school)
and I scored only too well
and without really knowing
my personal circumstances
the teacher told the class
that I was lazy,
but much more than that
she marked my English grades down.

I didn’t know what had got into her
and in the second quarter
like a angel from heaven
a female inspector
(specializing in English)
visited the school.

She couldn’t understand
why my marks had slipped so much
and we had a very nice chat
where she demanded
all my English books and tests.

She graded everything again,
my grades took a hike,
the teacher was called in
and almost did the same
and after that
my grades were where
they belonged.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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