Philip Rush

TELLING THE BEES

Dad was in his plush red
dressing gown.
He had been half-asleep all day.
The television was on
but the sound was down.
I held his eyes closely.
I hugged his eyes.
Phyllis, I said.
Your wife. My mum.
This all very slowly
like dictation
in a Shanghai
English lesson.
She’s not been very well.
A faint nod,
a faint agreement.
This evening, I said,
she has died.
The priest has been.
He gave her the sacrament.
We have said prayers,
made peace with God.
But mum is dead.
Oh. He said. Oh.
A slow motion screen
of the innards
of a mobile phone
showing the electrons
and their binary decisions
was being played
on his face.
Oh. He said. Oh.
And then,
I am a little
unstrung about that.

Philip Rush is the deputy head of St Peter’s High School, Gloucester, where he teaches in the English department. He has taught theatre studies for 20 years and for seven years led the postgraduate training scheme for trainee English and drama teachers at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham. He has a degree in English from Westfield College, University of London and an MA in drama from Bristol University. He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Philip Rush is the deputy head of St Peter’s High School, Gloucester, where he teaches in the English department. He has a degree in English from Westfield College, University of London and an MA in drama from Bristol University. He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at the Torbay Poetry Festival.  His poetry has won prizes and, as he remarks, made a profession of coming second in competitions.