Bryan Coleborne: ‘Woodwork Teacher’

Woodwork Teacher

Starting each class with his well-worn saw,
“One minute per week per boy perhaps,”
Charlie kept his most cutting comments
For the boy with the clumsiest job:
“I’m looking for a bit of scrap timber,
Hintendorfer, bring out your teapot stand.”
He held the class in the vice of his taunts:
“Let’s see if the Board of Education
Will straighten you out. Bend over the bench, boy.”
And while he never threw mallets or chisels,
As Eric did in the room next door,
The crowning achievement of his career
Was to master the art of swinging the cane
At the tips of the joints for the greatest pain.

Bryan Coleborne

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