Thinking Back

I’ve finished two school-day poems now. I have to say I hated almost every second of secondary school. It was a place where you were punished for individuality, made to conform to a generally pointless set of rules by teachers and pupils (although very different rules imposed by each) and the building itself felt hostile and prison-like. A few years before I started, the whole place had been burned to the ground by a local legend with a petrol can (so the story goes) and my first two years were spent in temporary ‘huts’ for the majority of lessons. When my sister visited a few months ago we went to see the ruins of it. It had been failing for a long time (if not always). I knew it was being demolished but didn’t expect the extent of the obliteration of the building. The playing fields were still there, although the grass was creeping up as far as the bar on the rugby posts. I had a funny feeling that I didn’t expect. Some sadness. Some good times gone. It started me thinking about all the wonder of that age (captured perfectly by Danny Boyle in the episode of Inspector Morse Cherubim and Seraphim and in the 90’s American ‘coming-of-age series’ My So Called Life). It’s a strange time, full of excitement and fear. I remembered running through the science corridors with my friend, us linking arms and walking over to the sports centre feeling free and adult, laughing until our badly-applied eye-liner ran down our faces. I thought I knew a lot of things I now know I had no idea about. I thought I’d ‘unlocked the mysteries of the world’ when I was still only a baby. Anyway, I’m not sure about the poems but have sent them off haphazardly as usual and late at night.

I think this is a sad time of year and a tough time to get through. There’s something about the changing of the seasons. My partner brought home an injured baby hedgehog last week and we fed it cat food. I was so sad and worried it would die I asked him to release it quickly. It was a beautiful thing and made some very funny clicky, whiney sounds (reminding me of “thrice and once the hedgepig whined”). It was the first live hedgehog I’ve seen in about 10 years.

This time of year makes me think far too much. If there were some easier way to work through all the worries and doubts I’d be subscribing to it online now or taking it, pill-shaped, with my coffee. But then I probably wouldn’t need to write.




Author: kittydonnellypoet

Kitty Donnelly was born in Oxford in 1979. Her mother was born in Cumbria, of Irish origin, and her father was born in Newry, Northern Ireland. She has lived in London, Cumbria, Swansea and Chichester. She had poems published in Acumen in 2005, as well as being long and short-listed for several poetry competitions. She was also published in The Samaritan's Anthology and by The Forward Press. In 2007, she took a long break from submitting poems after having her daughter. In 2016, she has been Commended in the Southport Writer's Circle Poetry Competition, long-listed for the Canterbury University Poet of the Year 2016 and has had work accepted for publication in The Dawntreader. She currently lives in Cumbria where she works as a psychiatric nurse.

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