School Trip

At the Hancock Museum
it’s dusty, with old windows
no proper light
they’re supposed to be looking at masks
the others are bored, nudging and jostling.
Frankie sees a mask,
it just has holes for eyes with a long bony nose
he stares at it.
Then Paddy nudges him and shouts to Dec:
Way looka, it’s The Freak!
The others crowd round, laughing
Hey Frankie!
It’s a mask of ye.
They pull faces, Dec’s chanting Freak, Freak!
Twirls his fingers at his temple.
Miss! Miss!
Looka! It’s Frankie, Miss.
Miss Thoroughgood says:
All right boys, settle down.
They go off to the drinks machine
but Frank sees Becca watching,
she’s not laughing.

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