Poem in Which Everyone is Peter O’Toole

I am handed a postcard of a school
1903 in New York
snow in New York
there are no faces in the windows
but all the children went there
from the writing there is a large drama hall
it isn’t a secularist school
but they allow for that sort of thing

some of the children were boys
and some of the boys had blonde hair
now they drive their bikes into stone walls

And the walls look on kindly
at their blond hair
and their bikes

the children might be irish, or english
the children might be stupid
they might be barbarous
but they are all blonde
and they all mount trains
and make speeches, and pose for iconic photographs
but hide their blonde faces from the north american school windows

and they kill

the girls are nowhere
they are safe from the others
who kill only the dark haired boys but none of the girls
who confuse their words for lessons and for the taking of egypt
who confuse their actions for character and for reality
who confuse their lessons and reality for detractors and for tribes

instead of seeing Peter O’Toole
living out his dreams
in the day

Michael Preece

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