Fleur Adcock’s ‘Kissing’

by Gill Clayton

Year 10 are discussing Fleur Adcock’s ‘Kissing’.

Their soft voices drift around the space.

One is earnest, focussed, listening

intently, seeking knowledge. Then in haste

another gestures, animated,

needs to be heard, to make them understand.

But one more says slowly, concentrating:

“Yes, that’s an idea, but on the other hand…”

A line is picked apart, dissected,

“Why does she use the verb ‘clamped’ on Line 5?”

“And paired with ‘together’ – that’s effective…”

“I think it shows how close they are – alive.”

Year 10 are discussing Fleur Adcock’s ‘Kissing’.

With me, the teacher, quietly listening.