Thirty years ago, I failed
at school. Since then, washing lines
and roller blinds have taught me
all I need to know of pulleys
– more than ever Mr Roberts (maths)
was able. I’ve found that sound
is energy, as every tug resisted
turns to squeak.
      I sort the clothes
in sets, but socks still disappear
through worm holes in the wash
or wrap themselves in m??bius chains
(though less so, now I’ve mastered
static electricity and use conditioner).
      No doubt
Miss Jones (domestic science?
history?) would be proud
of my monarchial skills: I can tell
King Edward from William
or Victoria, and I know
the ways they should be served.
I can divide five baking spuds
between six unexpected guests
– the answer is a bowl of mash,
of course, or chips – and Mrs Jones
(biology) would be amazed
at how unfazed I am when faced
with filleting a fish
      3D geometry’s
a snip when pans don’t fit
the recipe – as easy as apple pie –
and scaling up to feed the ever-growing clan
is second nature now. I have acquired
the social skills of any international diplomat
and can prepare four-coloured seating plans
for Christmas – children as buffer states
protect the tribal borders.

All the grandkids moan: they don’t understand
why Nan’s so keen they study hard when she
was such a dunce; but then, it’s only now I realise
how relevant the core curriculum can be.