Day 167: Run, Laura Jade!

Run, Laura Jade!
Matt Zurbo

Everybody laughed
at poor little Laura Jade,
a social mess,
dysfunctional at best,
could not rest,
sloppily dressed,
but no-one checked her grades. 
(Little girl, Laura, with one shoulder strap off, shoes not yet on, homework in hand, toast and orange juice in the other.)

A big assignment due,
the teacher barked like thunder:
“Get it done!
In three nights, RUN!

Do not have fun!
Be number one,
or your grades will plunder!”

All the kids went home,
knowing what their teacher meant:
Have a good time,
visit Auntie Lime
fall down a mine,
but first, in the assignment make a dent!

Laura was no different,
indeed that was her plan.
Study hard, 
while eating lard,
keeping guard
of homework time well spent!

But on the fist night, things went astray,
as. with her, they often did.

She left open the gate,
which was not great,
when her dog Nate,
met a strange fate,
on a poodle date,
finding itself in a circus!

It took all night and a bit,
for Laura Jade to get her dog back.
“Never fear,” 
she did leer,
at kids who jeered,
“I have two more nights to beat this rap!”
(Laura, hair filled with straw, is hugging dog, who is dressed like a clown, while other kids hug their books.)

Trim and proper, the other kids,
did more homework on night two.
Laura Jade tried,
to abide,
with formal tides,
but her heart died,
when the cat sailed off with pirates! Boo-hoo!

The next night was deep with fright,
for poor little Laura Jade!
A flaming oven,
two burst pipes,
(So she said!)
All caused her stress and pain! 

I’ve got to say,
she looked a mess,
Getting some peace and quiet,
doing her homework on the roof!

Everybody laughed,
as she stood on one leg,
to write and scribble,
practising her fiddle.
trying not to piddle,
writing in diddles,
while making sure cats, dogs and pirates were well fed.

Yet none of the doubters saw,
the important thing Laura did;
stay up all night,
not tucked in tight,
despite the fight, 
to do what’s right,
as Laura always did.
(Other kids, homework in neat pile by bed, sleeping with smiles. We can see Laura’s light on, Laura on her roof, with torch, fending off owls, but paper and pen in hands.)

Five minutes before class, 
other kids strolled through the gate,
while Laura ran,
one shoe on,
meal not done,
dressed like a bum,
running for the bus, yelling: “WAIT!” 
(Laura, half dressed, pulling jacket on, holding other shoe under arm, homework between teeth, last page in one hand, still writing with the other, school backpack over shoulder is not secure, zip open, books and lunch falling out as she runs out her gate, forgetting door is still open, and dog and cat escaping again.)

(Double page spread of Laura in same state of affairs, running for the bus. Octopus arms reaching for her from manhole, eagle swooping, but just missing her, pirate sitting on park bench, with cat, laughing!)

Everybody watched Laura Jade,
as she bolted 
towards the gate,
“Don’t shut it mate!”
“Avoid that fate!”
“Teacher won’t wait!”
“You’re not yet late!”
“You have seconds, hurry, hurry, scamper!”
(Laura even more disorganised, cloud of dust, with swirling cat and dog and alien etc… behind her.)

(Laura sliding through shutting gate.)

(Laura standing on correct side of gate, shell-shocked, hair a mess, tie half undone, one shoe on her head, Vegemite toast still in mouth, homework in air, everywhere. Kids around her dumbfounded. Little sound effects around her. Pop, fssst. fizzle.)

While Laura popped and fizzled, the other kids had a ball,
laughing until they cried,
no matter how hard she tried,
never on her side,
Laura wanted to hide,
as they rolled around the floor.

Only the teacher knew better – 
one-by-one she marked them all,
short and tall,
big and small,
even Paul,
still climbing the wall!
“Top of the class again, Laura Jade!” she called.

Picking up the pieces, was never fun or easy.
Oh what fools!
These kids at school,
too quickly cruel,
to this stubborn mule,
who bent the rules,
which, actually, made her kind of cool…
(Other kids looking up in awe as she jumps with joy, A+ on her paper.)

Even if a little wheezy!
(Laura, exhausted, hands on knees, blowing our air.)

The End

One thought on “Day 167: Run, Laura Jade!

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