• sootallures

It's Coming Home

England v Ukraine

When the working class was first given the vote,

The Home Secretary said:

‘We must educate our masters’;

The result was the Education Act,

Which resulted in elementary schools,

Throughout the cities, towns, villages and hamlets

Of the United Kingdom;

Single storey, red brick or local stone,

Separate entrances for boys and girls,

Sometimes seemingly more Arts & Crafts

Just as at Bagpath, near Stroud,

Where the headteacher walked the lanes,

Ringing the bell through the winding

Spring-line hamlet;

Children trudging or running to school,

Along the lanes, footpaths and holloways,

To study the pink bits on the world map on the wall,

To learn the 3Rs and the catechism,

To receive a ruler rap across the knuckles,

To go absent at harvest time,

To cry when their fathers were killed in war,

To sing their hymns of praise,

To raise the flag and march on Empire Day.

But we danced to a different tune,

Watching the match against Ukraine

Projected on the wall where the imperial map

Once dominated the class attention;

We danced because it’s coming home

To a new rainbow post-imperial England,

Diverse in form, formation and composition;

But the ghost children rose from their cramped desks,

To join us in our collective hymn of praise and joy:

‘It’s coming home, it’s coming home,

It’s coming,

Football’s coming home.’

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