Poem introduction

I used to be a school teacher and many of the school poems I've written have little portraits or snapshots of me and this one shows me in my classroom at the end of the day getting rather ragged as you will hear.



Nobody leave the room.
Everyone listen to me.
We had ten pairs of scissors
At half-past two,
And now there's only three.

Seven pairs of scissors
Disappeared from sight.
Not one of you leaves
Till we find them.
We can stop here all night!

Scissors don't lose themselves,
Melt away or explode.
Scissors have not got
Legs of their own
To go running off up the road.

We really need those scissors,
That's what makes me mad.
If it was seven pairs
Of children we'd lost,
It wouldn't be so bad.

I don't want to hear excuses.
Don't anyone speak.
Just ransack this room
Till we find them,
Or we'll stop here...all week!

from Please Mrs Butler (Penguin, 1983), copyright © Allen Ahlberg 1983, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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1Please Mrs Butler

2Slow Reader




6Harrison's Desk

7Bags I

8Billy McBone

9The Infants Do an Assembly about Time

10The Boy Without a Name

11A Pair of Sinners

12Where I Sit Writing

13The Vampire and the Hound

14The Actor's Mother

15Cemetery Road

16The Slow Man

17Talk Us Through it, Charlotte

18Mr Bloor

19Friendly Matches

20Dad on the Line

21Team Talk

22The Match (c 1950)

23Who Kicked Cock Robin?

24The Lovely Ball of Leather

25Dream Football

26Cops and Robbers

27Test track

28Test track 2

32Test track