“Today we are going to make a man.
Pick up your plasticine, warm it in your hands.”
(Never mind our frozen fingers,
having lingered long over January play.)
“Now stretch it into a long shape.”
She pointed to the perfectly tapered cylindrical form
she’d already made at home,
over cocoa, retiring to her empty bed,
a little after ten the night before.
We laboured on.
Who said art was meant to be fun?
Small ball for head.
Pipe cleaner width plasticine arms and legs.
Stick these onto the perfect,
(in our cases imperfect) cylindrical body.
Next bit tricky. Cast small balls,
slightly squashed, for eyes.
Two longer ones for nose and mouth.
Six tiny bits to make buttons for his front.
“Wonderful! Well done.” Squealed ecstatic Miss,
pointing to the perfect creation of prissy Lizzie Crush.
“Look at those laces.” She gushed.
They trailed across the table top,
extending from tiny eye holes
made in those dainty plasticine boots,
shooting out from legs ends of her perfect man.
Any fool, even at our tender age,
knew no man was perfectly good,
even though Miss was saving space in her bed
in case one turned up.
We all prayed Prissy Lizzie would trip over her laces,
and crash down on her face,
her perfect man blown away among our feats of clay.