St Helena’s Reply
Oh my dear, my poor sweet gal,
I did warn you of the dangers.
In my own archaic way,
I showed you men were stranger.
I made the rules, you were no fools!
I had to be quite cunning;
with your lip gloss
and your skinny ties,
you were glamorous and stunning.
You wore the schoolgirl uniform
of crimplene and nylon,
thick wool tights, and capes with stripes
polyester shirt with tie on.
No coloured hair, no coloured socks,
and shoes fit for the army,
A-Line skirts and gingham frocks,
the blazers drove you barmy.
The gym kit was my own idea,
with gore-tex tops – no glamour.
Navy knickers from knee to ear,
nothing stylish to enamour.
The school rule drill of measuring skirts,
two inch below the knee line,
needle and thread, we’ll have no flirts,
but still you rolled the waistline.
I heard you sing my Pioneer hymn,
and make up your own version,
Pie and Peas, Oh Pie and Peas,
was not an apt subversion.
But did you heed all that I said?
No – you were capricious, smart, and rowdy,
I did my best, you passed the test,
and I couldn’t be more prouder!
St Helena’s Reply by Alexandra Carr-Malcolm