I've donned my erstwhile snow-white coat, my gloves,
I've bagged a stool, and joined the other seven,
And now we're sitting round a thing that once
Was all a self-respecting corpse could wish.
But what's the good of stuffing my poor head
With facts and figures, measurements and names
Deep-delving oft in many-pag'ed tomes
Searching the mysteries of anatomy
When at the moment when I need them most
They all take wing and fly away, or start
To twist and twirl, to writhe and wriggle so
A tangled mass of most untruthful facts
Remain where ordered knowledge once held sway.
For half an hour – a very long half hour -
The constant stream of questions has gone forth
And answers, not so flowing, been returned:
Answers that made their authors blush in shame,
Or glow with humble pride. O would that I
Might get the question that my neighbours have.
But they can always answer and I get
Instead a most unfair conundrum,
And after meditating on it well
I give up and earn another frown,
And all the facts give yet another squirm
And settle down more jumbled than before.
But slowly, slowly that large minute-hand
Climbs upward jerk by jerk until at last
It is eleven, and we rise, released
And tally ho! for biscuits, coffee, peace.
Meg Rugg-Easey 1935 (Age 21)