the school trip

architecture bones building city
Photo by Pixabay on

Heads counted as we climb aboard the coach

That already faintly smells of vomit,

Carpet seats, stained with Ribena

And windows smeared with sticky fingerprints.

Tommy feels sick before we reach the motorway

And Miss decides we should have a sing-a-long

To help us pass the time, and when we arrive

We queue for the museum, craning necks

To see the dino bones, soaring overhead.

We press our noses to the cases made of glass,

Looking at the model dodo, the giant fossils

And the rock that came from space, incongruous

In its London home. And homeward bound

We sing again, cradling gift shop buys;

Pencil sharpeners stamped with logos and

Someone bought a starfish, dried and crispy,

Every person wants to touch, excited at

The thought of home, of crispy pancakes

And safety in our rooms while teachers drink

The wine they saved, knowing that this day

Would warrant just a glass or two!

Because I trained to be a teacher while we were going through COVID lockdowns and restrictions, I have still not had the opportunity to go on a school trip. And I am dying to go on one.

I have already decided that I will be going on the trip to New York and at least one skiing trip. It appears that teaching is going to be my key to a bunch of free holidays. It’s just a pity that I will need to take 200 kids with me!

Much Love

Rachel xx

3 thoughts on “the school trip

  1. Margot Kinberg

    What a great description of school trips here, Rachel! They are a lot of work, from the logistics, to getting parental permission, to the realities of keeping tabs on twenty kids, to……. But they are a great way to get to know kids outside of school. And there’s something about going places that can really open kids up to things. They’re learning without actually being aware that they are.

  2. clcouch123

    I hadn’t thought about school trips in a while. As a student, I went on many and chaperoned many as a teacher or a volunteer. I guess they can be formative for everyone. The details in your poem are apt and visceral.

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