“Small Boy”, the Headmaster shouts and points
as the sixth-formers snigger on the balcony above.
The lad in question trembles a little in the assembly beneath.
Another small boy before me into the green space.
“Sorry” he says as he cuts swiftly before me through the entrance.
He is heavily laden with a quart milk
bottle grasped under his desperate arm.
His earnest apology surprises and charms me.
He is in a hurry and speedily treads across
the muddy field.
A little lad with a worried hurried pace
or so it appears to me.
He seems keen to assuage some overbearing
I imagine some awful row between his mum and dad-
all he can do perhaps is help fetch the distant provisions.
As I watch his rapid progress in the cold and wet morning,
I sense his small act of restitution will be insufficient.
The parents will not be speaking hours into the afternoon
and my eyes tearfully respond at this thought.