Poem By Roald Dahl
The prospect of you paralyses me
though I cannot understand how.
You are a piece of paper, A4,
with some words, numbers, grades.
You should not shake me to the core.
All I have to do is turn up, accept you,
the systematically printed sheet
of misery in a brown envelope.
Well, not misery. That’s extreme.
You are extreme.
Your print I know will either
complete my task, the two-year struggle,
or erode me, debase me,
nothing but two years’ trouble.
You do not scare me on certain days –
most of the time – but in these
closing times you’ve become more eerie,
a daunting little slice of a tree,
treated, given life and ready to devour me,
my dreams, my sanity.
I'd like to be convincing or even just
a little bit Jekyll and Hyde
to be able to say to you:
You don’t scare me –
It’s me who’s coming to get you.
But I must walk down through the square
and the path by the fields
leading to the school gate again
where nearby trees are making a salient
summer’s hush and I must
walk through those doors, once more,
and claim you as mine
with a smile for everyone,
tear at your brown protection,
shaking, and believe, even if it’s not,
that everything will be fine.
August 15th 2006