Terry Collett

AUSTEN'S POTTERY CLASS 1959

Austen handed out
lumps of brown clay
and dumped it
in front
of each boy
in the classroom
onto a wooden desk.

I broke off
a piece of clay
like he said
flattened it
as a base.

Then rolled out
another piece
into a narrow
oval strip
about a foot long.

We had to twirl it
around the base
to make a pot
then smooth down
the joins.

Austen then walked
among the boys
with his stare
through thin
wire-framed glasses.

He stopped
by my desk
what's that?
he said.

A pot Sir
I replied.

He stared at it
bring it
to the front
he said.

I picked up
the clay pot
on the palm
of my hand
walked
to the front
of class.

Lift it up
so all can see
he said.

I lifted it up.

This is how
NOT
to make a pot
he said
Coles has
obviously
not been listening
or watching
what I have
been saying
or showing.

A few kids
sniggered
out of fear
of not doing so
rather than mirth.

Had you been
watching me
or listening
to me Coles?
he said.

Yes Sir
I said.

It does Not
look like it.

He took the pot
slammed it
on to his desk
shooed me
away from him
plopping
the misshaped clay
in my palm.

Go sit down Coles.

I took
my lump of clay
and sat down.

Other kids
stared ahead
shit scared
of Austen
to look away.

I stared at him
taking in
his stern features
and pockmarked skin
and grinned within.

Comments2

  • Augustus

    Nice story. Grabs you emotionally

  • Goldfinch60

    Goodwrite, presumably as in any artistic work you were just applying your inbuilt creativity.



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