Higher Learning by Neil Fulwood

What we excelled at was further
from the curriculum
than our longest-range
jaunts outside the school gates
 
or rather over the rickety bit of fence
at the far end of the playing field.
We were teenage Steve McQueens,
the boulevard our razor-wire border
 
and no-one needed a motorbike
when you could leg it down rat-runs
or twitchels and emerge breathless
and grinning in a dimension
 
devoid of prefects and teachers.
This was our education:
which shopkeepers would sell us
lukewarm cans of lager,
 
which bus route would get us
to the city centre faster,
how to develop a radar for coppers
or make like a chameleon
 
on spotting a parent. This
set us up for adulthood: made us
proficient at dodging meetings
and throwing sickies, taught us
 
that the fabrication of diary entries
was a piece of cake
after the years of practice
perfecting our mothers’ signature
 
on a note covering a two-day absence.
Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book 'The Films of Sam Peckinpah'. His poetry has been featured in The Morning Star, The Stare's Nest, Butcher's Dog, Monkey Kettle, Nib Magazine and Ink Sweat & Tears. He divides his time between the pub and cinema, and somehow manages to hold down a day job.

Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book ‘The Films of Sam Peckinpah’. His poetry has been featured in The Morning Star, The Stare’s Nest, Butcher’s Dog, Monkey Kettle, Nib Magazine and Ink Sweat & Tears. He divides his time between the pub and cinema, and somehow manages to hold down a day job.

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