School Rules

My child went to school today
She had a runny nose
'She can’t come in', the teacher said
'We don’t take kids with colds
Please read the guidance we sent out, it makes it all quite clear
If you abide by all these rules we’ll have a brilliant year'
Two days went by, the cold subsides, we arrive again at school
‘She looks peaky’ the teacher said, ‘check page twenty for the rule’
‘It says that she must stay home if she looks a little pale
I’ll send the guidance out again, please do check your email’
That night I read the guidance, but must confess I fell asleep
At one hundred pages long, it was better than counting sheep
Next day I took my daughter and we stood in the school line
‘All ok?’ the teacher asked, I assured her all was fine
‘What’s that?’ asked the teacher sternly, pointing at her arm
‘It’s just a plaster’, I replied, ‘no need to be alarmed’
‘We can’t take kids with plasters’, the teacher told me gravely
‘Paragraph nine, sub-section six, rule one hundred and eighty’
I shut my mouth and forced a nod and took my daughter’s hand
My face perplexed, my mind a whir, trying hard to understand
My child woke this morning, 
‘I’ve got an itchy toe;
I think I should stay home today, the guidance says it’s so’
I opened up my email so that I could prove her wrong
But where to look for an itchy toe? The guidance was so long
What the heck, I thought, for all I knew it might
I only reached page fifty before I fell asleep last night
I sighed and smiled, held out my arms, she came in for a hug
‘Why don’t you pick a movie and we’ll get nice and snug?’
At ten o’clock the school called, ‘Where is your child today?’
‘She’s home with an itchy toe’ I said and heard a loud gasp of dismay
‘I’m sorry, but she can’t stay home unnecessarily
She’s not been in a day this week, the guidance says it’s key
To have a child attend each day so they can do their best
Bring her into school and we’ll take care of all the rest’
My jaw snapped shut, my shoulders tensed, my teeth began to grind
I closed my eyes, took a breath, to calm my raging mind
I thanked school for their comments but told them firmly ‘I’m her Mum
So you can take your bloody guidance and shove it up your...’

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