Constance Wood - Headmistress
How she charmed and terrified me!
I can still see her
(fifty years on)
winging her way
across the quadrangle-
black gown flapping,
small laced feet
pecking the gravel.
I used to imitate her
in my senior years.
(I wonder if she knew?)
I loved the titillation
of risking detention
in the pursuit of peer approval.
Miss Wood was quite an actress herself.
Each Monday morning she took
centre stage at assembly.
Diminutive and domineering
(Queen Victoria minus the veil)
she would issue her orders for the week,
before leading us in
her favorite hymn
'Morning Has Broken'
I was about twelve
when she took us for Latin -
and for the first time
I met the teacher behind the gown.
She was magnificent -
a brilliant educator
with a passion for her subject
and a devotion to her students.
(Such a generous marker too!)
I heard she died last year.
She had just turned 104!
She must have spent
the last forty years of her life
without her girls.
How terribly sad.
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