We were tasked with collaboratively writing a poem on any topic.  This was an incredible experience filled with teamwork and fun. We started off suggesting topics and then voted for the best one. We then thought hard about our childhood and the things we hated, and felt most strongly about. Each of us chose between two and four atrocities, then we split up to write our stanza. When we combined them on one iPad, the poem really started taking shape. Switching lines and swapping stanzas until finally the work of art was done. We can’t wait to present this poem to our audience at Poetry Evening in Term 3!

The Atrocities of Childhood
Growing up like you never thought you would
The pain you felt from long ago
Hidden in places you used to know

When you’re trying to sing and it comes out wrong 
And when people are trying to figure out what your masterpiece is and it takes too long 
Trying to be formal using huge, huge words
Only to be corrected by your parents and the nerds 

And they cannot stop to fuss
Wearing shoes in summer, ‘Oh, you must!’
Your shoelaces will make you fall
Mom’s cold, so on with your jersey before playing ball

Talking to your mom while she’s on the phone, but that she won’t allow
Saying that she’ll be there just ‘now, now’
Adults patting you right on the head
People calling you little, ’But I’m big!’ you said

Sitting at the kids’ table
But being with the adults, you’re able
Getting told to tidy your room
If you don’t, it’s certain doom

Pushing over your parents treasured China display
Or calling your teacher ‘mom’ and having to see her the next day
To stub your toe and see life move a little slower
Or not being allowed to play with the lawn mower

Being lied to seems to be the new way
I thought we were not allowed to fib and it was not okay 
Getting upset and wanting to run away 
But realising the walls are too big and you have to stay 

Hide and go seek and being left all alone
Getting locked in places not ever known
Your parents saying, ‘We’re leaving, don’t be left behind!’
Then talking for hours with a friend they find

The mysterious shadows in your room at night
Slenderman’s outline in the bathroom light
Or the monsters under the bed
but your parents tell you it’s in your head

The atrocities of childhood
Growing up like you never thought you would
Old disasters not as bad as we thought
The atrocities of childhood

Alison Garstang, Philippa van der Walt, Georgia van der Walt, Lucy Blades,
Juliet Hodgson-Jervis and Rachel Moultrie