The Girl with the Briefcase

Some girls wear dresses
And some girls wear skirts
This one double-breasted
In a suit and a shirt
The girl in the trouser suit
Had scabs on her knees
Cos she loved playing football
And liked climbing trees
Kicked a ball ‘gainst the wall
From early till late
Cycled for hours
Around the estate
Devoured classic literature
Learned the linguistics
Saw stars, studied creatures
And gathered statistics
Read journals, did crosswords
Then published her own
Occasionally in company
But usually alone
She stepped up a gear
With the cogs in her brain
She was skipped up a year
Became different again
With a pal in a playing field
Talking and sitting
Explaining she feels
As though she’ll never fit in
Went secondary at ten
Became the girl with the briefcase
The girl with the fountain pen
Glasses and teeth brace
Nerdy and wordy
And faintly absurdly
Besotted with swotting
And which-where-and-whatting
The girl with the briefcase
Did homework and then some
Extra hours’ reading
And self-set extensions
Freaky and geeky
And sure of success
One hundred per cent
Accept nothing less
The girl with the briefcase
Expected perfection
If she ever got B-grades
She faced an inspection
Brilliant at numbers
But rubbish at chatter
A-plus for the former
But fail for the latter
She knew about Christ
But not about make-up
She offered advice
But there wasn’t much take-up
She topped all but art class
But gauche and uncouth
A right bloody smart-arse
To tell you the truth
So the girl with the briefcase
Was taken away
Became the girl with the free place
At a place where you pay
The girl with the briefcase
Was a fish out of water
A difficult sister
A troublesome daughter
A classmate, a commoner
From a different brand
Where ‘estate’ means mass housing
Not your family’s land
For a place that was free
It certainly cost her
It was easy to see
That she’s an imposter
Never a young lady
Outside and estranged
Then she turned on the radio
And everything changed.
[to be continued …]



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