‘Countdown’ by Caitlin Goddard

This week we invite you to read Caitlin Goddard’s ‘Countdown’, a poem which recounts an experience which most First Story students face (and admirably overcome): the anxiety of publicly performing a piece of their own writing.

Caitlin was a member of the First Story group led by Jonathan Lloyd at Severn Vale School, where we run our programme in partnership with Cheltenham Festivals, the charitable organisation facilitating Cheltenham’s famous Jazz, Science, Music and Literature festivals.

 

Countdown by Caitlin Goddard

10

The panic is finally starting to set in.

9

My breaths become shaky as I clutch the paper in my hands.

8

I shut my eyes at the sound of many voices.

7

They remain sealed tightly as I listen.

6

Footsteps approach quickly.

5

It’s almost time.

4

An arm gently pushes me, wrenching me from my thoughts.

3

I open my eyes and take the first step forward.

2

It feels like forever before I can stop. I look out to the people.

1

I gulp, pulling the paper to my line of sight: ‘This poem is

called Countdown.’

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