I Become a Gymslip Girl by Jennie Farley
We wear our boaters tipped to one side,
our navy-blue cardies back-to-front,
tunics tucked up to show our knees.
We stick out our tongues behind
the prefects’ backs, clamber over the row
of toilet cubicles to lock them from inside,
practise real kissing with smoochy lips.
Susan is famous for her back-flips in gym,
Annabel for her trilling voice,
Tansy Trout for being a hoot.
I am famous for telling horror stories
in the dorm after lights out, my fee
two pennies from each gymslip girl
intended for Sunday Church collection.
In the mirror my eyes have gone black.
I have sold my soul to the Devil.
Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher living in Cheltenham. Her work has featured in magazines including Prole, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, and been performed at festivals. Her first collection was Her Grandmother Skating (Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016) followed by Hex (IDP 2018). She is working on a short pamphlet The Gymslip Girls.