Poem a Day for April – Day 16 – Whacko!

I’ve committed to writing a poem a day for the month of April as part of National Poetry Writing Month.  This is day 16.

16th April

I went to Gunnersbury Catholic Grammar School for Boys, in London, for 6 or so years. A survey of the prevalence of corporal punishment in English schools, found that Gunnersbury had the dubious distinction of coming in at number 5 in the top 50!

A Good Catholic Education

Every step away from home

every stop on the train to school

was one of rising fear

of the coming day


of growing doubt that I could

meet their expectations

intensifying exasperation

with my inability to ‘get it right’


of increasing perplexity

about the impending punishment

ever dwindling belief

in what they said I must believe


diminishing faith

in the goodness of their God

increasing realisation of the gulf

between what they were

and what they said they were


every step away from school

every stop on the train home

forged a steely determination

never to be like them.


copyright Mike Hopkins 2012


5 thoughts on “Poem a Day for April – Day 16 – Whacko!

  1. A thoughtful poem MH, and one that I’m sure will hit a nerve with many. I like the way you’ve brought us to and from school for the day. Well done! 🙂

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