He arrived in the sixth form
from a poxy private school
that thought itself posh,
and though he was local,
they’d rubbed his voice down
until our local accent came off
and he spoke like an Etonian.
He had that up-your-own-arse
confidence of the rich,
but wasn’t all that clever
when it came to school stuff,
almost like he felt above it.
And his grades weren’t much.
So the summer we left
I bumped into him in the street,
and just could not resist
telling him I was going to Uni.
I’m not bothering with that he said
(Daddy’s business I thought)
Because, he said, I’m in meat.
I didn’t know Daddy had gone bust
until I caught sight of him next:
the boy on the local butcher’s van.
Ruth Aylett teaches and researches robotics in Edinburgh and has been known to read poems with a robot. Her pamphlets Pretty in Pink (4Word) and Queen of Infinite Space (Maytree) were published in 2021. For more see http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/writing.html