An Old English Master - Poem by Richard George
Tenniel could have etched
him into my mind: claw nose, half-
crown spectacles and thin lips' dab
turning the page. I hear the chock
as he mined Greek Es from the coal face.
Last lesson, in our first week at grammar school.
The end was in sight
of the longest days of our lives so far
and he told us about the railways
in the British Raj, and was kind to us.
The heatwave of '76
had uniformed the playing fields for Deccan.
In that dust-mote gold September room
he seemed to come from last century,
reading us Hardy and Kipling
in our new world, miles from home
in the bigoted market town
with no Jewish people. Bar one.
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