Legend Has It by Peter Adair

I am not a silent poet

Prowling the corridors

he drizzled spit between buck-teeth.

He drilled through walls

for boys to hit.

He wielded a whip and a giant’s scissors

to snip hair.

And once – legend has it – he thrashed a boy to death

and stashed his corpse in a cupboard.

Divinity rippled through his gown.

His god favoured show trials

(the gulags were full).

His dandruff bombed rebels.

His nostril hairs bristled

when he sniffed out sin.

At assembly, copulating with the lectern,

he boomed through our brains

declaiming the Good News

to rows of bored faces

barbwired in uniforms.

Once he tried to fool us

blasting through the speakers

Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken.

‘Pull the other one,’ a boy whispered

and was zapped with a bolt from on high.

Years later – legend has it – on speech day

they wheeled him on stage to recall

breaking the backbone of…

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