Trouble in the playground
I had a fight in a football game.
I accidentally turned around and elbowed a boy,
I'm not sure of his name.
He thought it was the start of a fight,
I thought it was just part of the game.
Now, I'm not sure who was right
But it seems I got the blame.
by Callum Connelly
Callum Connelly takes an everyday incident and turns it into a wry and arresting poem, drawing out the ambiguity we all feel at such a moment. He handles the story lightly by telling it plainly with a simple and successful rhyming structure. Once again, an incident from a young person's own experience supplies the germ of an effective poem.
Callum Connelly, aged 10, receives Stopping for Death: Poems of Death and Loss, edited by Carol Ann Duffy (Viking). Submitted by Mr Gerlack of The Blankenhagen School (BFPO 47Britische Schule), Gutersloh, Germany, who receives the Poetry Society's teachers' newsletter.