The Marriott Room

The Marriott Room


I don’t think I’ve been in here

since last time we met – in this place,

two years and two months ago

at your book launch. Second-hand book 

sales on Sundays weren’t resumed

once the library reopened for fewer hours.


Today we face each other across a table –

you say as you did then, that I’d been your pupil

a long time ago. I don’t add that it’s thirty years,

or will be in September, since that first

Monday afternoon in the room where

half the class had their backs to you.


Tomorrow I will re-read As You Like It

which I’m soon to see at the Theatre Royal.

When I get to All the world’s a stage

I’ll remember another lesson in classroom M8

when you weren’t there but had asked us

to copy out that speech and illustrate it.


I’ll never know why I struggled with

the second part of that exercise, as I did 

writing plays instead of stories, or the time

we did drama in the hall with Mrs G. 

Convinced I liked art not acting, I managed to 

draw a cover for the novel by Bette Greene.
















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