The Game-Changer

by fortytwo6x7


In year four of primary school

the uniform changed

from shorts to long trousers

and we

the biggest children in the small playground

became the

smallest children in the big playground


Culture shock would be a understatement

the boys in year seven

the oldest in the school

were in the ascendancy

the sight and sound

of them charging as a herd

was at first intimidating

to a eight year old


By year five

this practice was intriguing

to a nine year old

one stood in the middle

called another to attempt to pass him

if he succeeded

the herd charged

and he that stood alone

attempted to grab one

Those caught

stayed in the middle

the herd dwindled

until one lone charger

made his doomed attempt


By year six

a ten year old

was anxious

to be part of the game

pit his whit and strength

against others

the boys, unsurprisingly

wanted to be boisterous


In year seven

we formed our lines

we charged as one

our feet sounded like thunder

unbridled joy at reaching safety

was cut short, by a shrill whistle


The principle stood tall in the playground

silver hair and pipe in hand

he billowed

this game is banned

then turned on his heel and left

In Belfast, 1977

the way boys played

was designated



Author Notes

In the early seventies feminism began its march through the establishment. One of the first places hit was teacher training. Four years later the newly indoctrinated teachers passed out of training and entered the classrooms. One of the first targets was to change the behaviour of boy’s in the playground. The road to ritalin and ADHD Statements, began with banning boisterous games.