In The Half Light - Poem by Adrian Taheny
After school on winter evenings
Under watchful eye of two generations
The third wrestled with the complexities
Of times tables and grammar.
Each passing soul a welcome distraction
Always commented on by one or other
With fountains of knowledge from times past
Informing the watchers on their place in society.
Some evenings the electricity would go and
We would all rush for candles and matches
Quickly followed by the ceremonial lighting
Of oil lamps from the good room.
Shadows danced on my copybook
From the flickering flame and
Learning became impossible as
The light conquered my thoughts.
It made little difference to Granny, who prayed
As my mother knit or darned a sock
They remembered a time when there was no light bulb
No lamp, and a candle was a luxury to be spared.
Important lessons now, in this new light
As tales of times past interrupted our school work
And our appreciation of the important things in life
Grew ever greater, in this home of learning.
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