Bloody Students

I hear them yawping as they march
toward me down the corridor,
attempting to intimidate 
in this first battle of the war.

This conflict will be three terms long.
I am well trained and well prepared.
In theory, victory should be mine,
though I can't deny that I am scared.

It's true they are well trained also,
with twelve or thirteen years of drill.
In bringing down the enemy
they have developed outstanding skill.

In the staffroom we draw our swords.
Making the rounds, that same old speech.
We stand to charge with shoulders back.
We cry, "Once more into the breach!"

The enemy is well-rehearsed,
their strong resolve will never bend.
Their defenses they will never drop.
They will fight to the bitter end.

But I've a secret weapon which 
they'll uncover as I teach and guide,
something they did not foresee - 
that I, the enemy, am on their side.

Then Henry, they will make me proud,
this band of brothers on whom I descend
with leadership, with empathy.
Victorious all, we reach the year's end.

(c) Claire Alison 2017

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