World Book Day

The year his father made him go
as The World According to Clarkson

became imprinted in his memory,
like the silent skid of tyre marks on

wet tarmac. Brown Jacket. Blue Jeans.
White Shirt: top buttons left undone,

the hairy chest wig that spilled out,
curled upwards to a pale March sun.

And then the air of blokey bonhomie
he felt compelled to assume

the banter about funny foreigners
at the back of the classroom,

his arguing in Geography
against the need to go green,

and, of course, the punching
of the dinner lady in the canteen.

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