I wrote this poem not long after the first day of Freshers’ Fair 2017, at which I had a stall promoting The Rumour Quill. However, it’s a mix of my experiences of being a fresher (2016) and looking at new freshers coming in (2017).
Under the marquee’s roof,
a child turns into an adult –
well sixthformers turning into
freshers – pounding the
waterlogged ground like horses
hooves making an imprint.
Ten o’clock, the first batch
meander in, using rucksacks
like loot crates picking up freebies
like food, pins and bracelets and
signing up for societies they
have no intention going to.
And free food and cocktails has made
adults of children. Ready to join
every cult and society: feminism, rugby,
Harry Potter, Rumour Quill.
One o’clock. Peak time, with the shrill of
rhythm and rhyme from loud music as
shrouds of crowds hover like billows of smoke.
Rabbles of students everywhere.
That’s Freshers’ Fair and how every stall
except the niche ones are mobbed with
lost students and smiles.
And how wide aisles are made thin
due to the onslaught of bodies.
A person’s skin meets table.
They touch, a crutch for the arm
and that’s when it’s time to go home.