Never Not Prepared


When Maggie got her school beret, she saw a noble motto.

‘Nunquam non paratus’, she said in voce sotto.

‘I don’t know what to make of that. Was the writer blotto?’

But Latin soon became her love. Amo, amas, amat.

Caesar adsum iam forte. Brutus et erat.

Verbs, subjunctives, all that stuff. She really was a smart arse

And all because that little badge said ‘Nunquam non paratus’.

Just one question bothered her, as she worked even harder,

Shouldn’t a girl from a single-sex school be nunquam non parata?

She raised her hand, was made to feel persona quite non grata.

Oh, discipline was strict back then. The teachers were such tartars.

Any ‘stupid’ questions and they’d have your guts for garters.

They loved their order marks and lines. The girls felt holy martyrs,

Forced to sing the old school song, learn hymns and then cantatas.

Maggie toiled and passed each test. Nunquam non paratus.

French, German, Spanish ‘O’s and ‘A’s all helped to build her status

Careers advice from Mrs Aitch, a sufferer from flatus,

‘Languages will help you move in every social stratus’.

Just make sure that you are nunquam non paratus.

Inexorably came the time of bold inamoratos, and some were nice and some were not,

Some really were non-starters, but Maggie knew just what to do,

Nunquam non paratus.

When wandering Parisian streets, especially Montmartre’s,

Maggie still had her school beret, such useful apparatus

For posing as a French girl. Nunquam non paratus.

When a German swain said, ‘Ach, mein Herz, I could just eat a carthorse’,

Maggie cried, ‘Don’t worry, Schatz,’ and served up spiced frittatas.

A Spaniard swept her off her feet with Cava and lambadas,

Roses red, honeyed words, served with patatas bravas,

But Mags proved equal to it all, nunquam non paratus.






Just a bit of nonsense inspired by finding my old school scarf and beret tucked away in a drawer