Christopher Writes: #NaPoWriMo Day Four – The Cruelest Month

Here is a poem for day four of NaPoWriMo. You know where the prompt comes from by now.

The Cruelest Month

They sit in rows,


hunched, sagging,

a hundred tiny scratching


deafening inside this velvet sweatbox.

Outside, the nursery across the street

rings its end-of-day bell

and spills

laughs and screams

into a street

busy and littered

with flickering,

birch-filtered sunbeams.

Back in the hall,

one hundred minds

try to

make sense of maths

problems filled with

esoteric exposition

and non-sequiturs.

In and of themselves,

each question is a grain

of sand but each

feels like an entire beach

dumped on to

hunched, sagging shoulders,


shoulders now aching,

cracking with the weight

of expectation,

to out-perform pushing parents

who know how little they achieved.


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