A Child Again
I'm a child again,
as memories come flooding back.
Here I am standing outside my old school
which is due to be demolished for something more modern.
Nobody's about, all is silence, except for the birds
chattering away in the same old Elm tree
which still stands against the side of the bicycle shed.
Such a strange feeling, something I can't describe.
I lift the latch on the gate, and walk through
into the playground, and pause awhile.
Voices seem to echo in the air around me.
Ah! Sarah, the noisy one with the ginger hair, into every scrape,
always a whirlwind. Unstoppable was Sarah.
Robert the shy, reserved one. Never mixed much, a bit of a loner really.
I heard somewhere, that he'd become a lawyer or something.
And, Yes. Jenny. Who could forget Jenny.
Jenny McKenny, who was clever at everything,
always laughing, always smiling, always your friend.
I wonder where they are now.
All have gone forever.
A terrible loneliness is creeping over me.
Why did I come. To refresh my memories, perhaps,
some bad, some good.
So long ago now, that they all feel good to me,
tinged with a sadness in my heart for what has been.
I'm reliving those memories of when I was a child,
with the hopes and thoughts of a child.
Moving towards the gate, unthinking as usual.
I'm forgetting to close it
like I used to do all those years ago.
I must turn around and close it now
And then there was our teacher, Mrs Saunders.
Oh My! What's this, a tear? .
© Ernestine Northover
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(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
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