'Do You Remember When I Took All Those Photos A Week Before You Started At The Grammar?' by Anne Summerfield

After I’d spent far more than I could afford on uniform for your new school, I got you to try out each outfit while I took photos for your grandparents. Winter, summer, sports kit, the girl least likely to return any serve with her new tennis racket. Only in the photo that looks like a casting for a new St Trinian’s movie – hat dented, one sock up and other down, gymslip skirt hauled to mid-thigh and tie loose and ragged ended – did you resemble in any way my real daughter on a school day. Even then there was no sense of the weight of that school bag you carried, or the pain from kicks your ankles received on the bus from children who’d been your friends at primary, kicks which left their marks as grey dirt on your new white socks, which I recognised but could never wash clean.


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