Who’s the Refuser?

Rebecca is a school refuser

The lessons confuse her

Miss knows her sister

is a substance misuser

It doesn’t excuse her

She’s labelled a shirker,

assigned to an overworked social work

a conflict defuser

But Becky’s still a school refuser


Mason is a lesson bailer,

afraid of failure

He’s looking paler, feeling frailer

Attention derailer, floored by distractions,

can’t make head nor tail of fractions

Would rather go and find some action


Danny is a school refuser,

a regular recuser, knows he’s a loser

His dad’s down the boozer,

he’s a bit of a bruiser,

says that it’s better to be a fighter

than a reader and writer

It’ll get you further, it’s worth more

than a piece of paper, a C-grade scraper

He’ll get him a job with a flash four-wheeler

with a bloke he knows who’s a grower and dealer


Sanjay is a school absconder

In class, his mind would only wander

Absence made his heart no fonder

He’s an oversleeper, a poor timekeeper

His troubles run deeper

than getting there for registration

He doesn’t care for regulation


Chloe is a school refuser,

a solitude chooser

Her dad’s an abuser

The system pursues her,

letters accuse her of truancy,

no room for ambiguity,

of skiving, depriving

herself of an education,

an entry-level qualification

Kids like her lack motivation


Yashvi is a school avoider,

the noise annoyed her,

the constant pressure near destroyed her,

the pep talks never really buoyed her

She isn’t sporting, found it exhausting,

She cares for her parents and her elderly neighbour

uses up her emotional labour


Or maybe school is a child alienater,

confidence deflater,

forced conformer,

anxiety provoker, anger stoker,

cheerless stresser, peerless pressure,

sense overwhelmer, of taste and touch

It’s just too much


Too disciplined and regimented,

thinly skinned, unprecedented,

Ambition spoiler, prepare for toiler,

streamer, grader, dissent dissuader,

starved and stunted, underfunded,

character crusher, challenge husher,

spirit tamer, victim blamer


J’accuse the accuser

Who’s the refuser?




Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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