Read by: Lyndsey Marshal
If the leaves of my memory serve me –
That was the year my hair went bee-hive
the year of the kiss, touching smugly
in the mirror my bee-stung lips.
If the branches of my memory stir me –
That was the year I fell in love with Otis,
his soulful syncopated R-E-S-P-E-C-T
each letter reverberating me to bliss.
For certain it was the year History rooted me –
Mr Owen, our history teacher – clad only in an armour
of trousers and rolled-up white sleeves – rescuing
single-handedly from dates and dusty treaties.
Giving the kiss-of-life to the leaden text –
Resurrecting from the pages the long gone dead –
Interweaving the Treaty of Tordesillas
with jokes about he and his dear, Mrs Owen.
How once she took such an age getting dressed,
that when she finally descended, all set,
his chin had grown hair and he had to shave again.
Then it was back to battles; islands claimed; renamed.
Thank you, Mr Owen for the perks of your words
Thank you, Otis Redding for rocking my world
Thank you bee for my hive and my bee-stung lips
Thank you mirror for the buzz of that kiss.