Is there a reason?

Judy Walker

"Is there a reason for this?" she asks
and her question drifts
on the sweaty menstrual fug.
Girls nudge each other, snigger and snide
as her cheeks heat to a thousand degrees.

Miss Nixon, Bachelor of Arts, Spinster of Spite,
turns from the board, eyes slitting, mouth ticking.
She puffs out, then sucks in her skinny bosom.

"I was just wondering if there is a reason for this or...?"
She locks eyes with Miss Nixon
and several hours pass in five seconds.

The class stares at the open page
or the wall where a poster about Beckett
is just beginning to part company with its blutac.
Felicity Sutcliffe hopes there will be chips for lunch
and Jane Curtis has forgotten to take her pill.

"I couldn't not ask," murmurs the questioner
and holds Miss Nixon's gaze,
waiting, waiting...for the sun
or Godot.

Judy Walker

Judy Walker lives in Hexham, Northumberland. She writes short stories, playscripts and poetry. Her work has won or been shortlisted in a number of competitions, read on BBC Radio Four and other local radio stations and published in anthologies and magazines. She has written a children's novel, which was shortlisted in the Northern Echo's 'New Novelist of the Year' competition, but has yet to find a publisher.

This year (2007), Judy is one of four writers on New Writing North's script development programme 'Emerge'. Her 30 minute theatre play, Bottling It, was performed at the Queen's Hall in Hexham earlier in the year.

In real life Judy is a press officer, a member of the Vane Women writers' collective and a partner in Blinking Eye Publishing.

Is there a reason? was written in a 'Writing from the Inside Out' class, which Judy has attended for many years. "I often find inspiration for my writing by going back to my schooldays, which still seem very vivid."

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Is there a reason? © 2007 Judy Walker: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.

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This page last updated 1st December 2007