Roger A. Rose
The Old School - Poem by Roger A. Rose
I remembered the first of the days,
when Mama dragged me by the hand,
heel-dug in the gravel of the playground;
into the unknown.
Later, after the new was off,
pretending to nap on my braided rug
trying to see under the teachers dress,
not knowing why or what I was looking for.
In the now tiny chairs of first grade,
how John was lifted out by the hair for causing
such a stir that memory has lost.
In the fifth, I fell in love with the teacher
who's feminine hand was not afraid
to hold the snake, nearly as tall as she,
that we found on a field trip, and it scared
Andrea to tears and we boys dared not touch.
In seventh, how Mr. B. was so cool with his
natty cap and his sleek MG and how straight
he could hurl an eraser at an errant head and
apologized to the girl who sat next for getting
chalk dust on her prim and proper dress.
And the bun-haired and horned-glassed Mrs. N.
whose stern looks changed to great beauty
with her hair down and makeup on at the Junior High Hop.
In the High School was Mrs. A., impromptu advice
to the lovelorn and math teaching whiz who couldn't
remember trivial things and had to pin notes
to her sweater and I can still see her graying hair
and laughing face in the class and in the halls.
I remembered Mr. M. whose cheeks turned red,
trying to teach the rudiments of reproduction
to young and impressionable students as we.
The old school burned the night before
and I had to go and see the broken panes
and the fallen roof and smell the smoke
of the empty, skeletoned hulk.
Old buildings die, but good memories seldom do.
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