Terry Collett


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
to the front
of class.

Lift it up
so all can see
he said.

I lifted it up.

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

A few kids
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
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.


  • 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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