Earlier this month I posted about my arrival, aged eight, at a ‘special’ boarding school for disabled children. Some of my friends / readers said they’d like to hear more: so, be careful what you wish for!
Rigid callipers locked down my eight-year old legs –
I couldn’t get up: no help from the nurse,
‘You have to learn’ she said.
Shooed everyone to breakfast, leaving me alone.
The dust was thick down there.
And the fluff. It was grubby, at school.
I wasn’t hurt, was used to falling:
My crutch would slip, my leg twist, and down I went.
My mam would have helped me: or my dad:
And it would have been cleaner at home.
The furniture was lower, the floor nearer somehow,
More familiar than this bleak dormitory
With its tall hospital beds; and metal lockers;
And nothing to hold on to.
I’d sold myself a pup, a dream of friends and fun:
Midnight feasts, stern but kindly matrons, jolly japes,
Escape from a caring, cloying home.
I sat on the floor, alone, wondering ‘what next?’.