Papier-mâché connected us kids to old Egyptian
burial processes [nowt else for a state-educated
minion – maybe Tutankhamun’s spectacular tour
in 1972 cast a curse on a few school-trip slaves]

Layered newspapers were our papyrus strips – in
spore-ish glue our fingers dipped to fish at strips
of Fifty Killed & One Million Unemployed rippings/
Ms Green also shredded two pages of obituaries

& handed them out in our mask-making art class/
An ancient lesson – we would not decode her torn
articles – kids sitting detached from too-big words
was a given [death an unknown] Our labours went

unpaid – all innocent in our hour of old arts of layer
placing/ Under Hornedjitef’s swaddles they placed
his body parts [bagged] to travel with him/ We set
our glue-dripped masks to dry as Ms Green smiled

& our precise lunchtime bell rang – she piled up her
stock of ‘papers [freely donated by male teachers]
praising us all we departed/ Sally whispered loudly
to Anne that Ms Green had bagged Mr Burn’s heart