Tich Miller wore glasses
With elastoplast pink frames
And had one foot three sizes larger than the other.
When they picked teams for outdoor games
She and I were always the last two
Left standing by the wire-mesh fence.
We avoided one another’s eyes,
Stooping, perhaps to re-tie a shoelace,
Or affecting interest in the flight
Of some unfortunate bird, and pretended
Not to hear the urgent conference:
“Have Tubby!” “NO, no, have Tich!”
Usually they chose me, the lesser dud,
And she lolloped, unselected,
To the back of the other team.
At eleven we went to different schools.
In time I learned to get my own back,
Sneering at hockey players who couldn’t spell.
Tich died when she was twelve.
1. Describe Tich Miller. (5)
2. What does she and the poet have in common? (5)
3. What do we find out about the poet’s own physical appearance? (5)
4. What do you think the poet means by ‘the lesser dud’? (5)
5. How does the poet describe the way Tich walked? (5)
6. What happened when they were eleven? (5)
7. How did the poet learn to cope with her lack of skill at games? (10)
8. Briefly tell the story of the poem in your own words (10)
9. What message do you think the poet is trying to get across? (10)