Schooldays - Poem by Dan Brown
The playground is humming with the bustling banter
of children, and the atmosphere of
innocence, freedom and youthfulness overwhelms me.
The sun smiles down on them all,
warming the scene and, indeed, my heart.
The boys engage in a tumultuous game of football,
using a lone, dishevelled dustbin and their schoolbags
as goalposts, whilst the giggling girls lurk aimlessly
in their groups, whispering excitedly about who they fancy.
The beaming light highlights the lush greenness of the grass
and the sprawling hedgerow that is the school perimeter.
The road running alongside the playing field roars with traffic,
but the children, in their sanctuary, are oblivious to
the dangers that lie beyond the boundaries of their playground.
Such an endearing thought, to imagine that the children can stay
in this scene forever, and forever be safe, innocent and ignorant
to life’s vices. But the children cannot stay.
For they must grow to become us; to be the next generation.
My depressing thoughts are broken as the bell rings.
The playground is suddenly a mass flurry of bodies,
directing themselves towards where they need to be.
In a matter of minutes, the friendly asphalt is desolate.
Barren of purpose and of personality, that went with the
children’s scurrying feet. That sorrowful bin stands, once again, alone, and breaks the forlorn landscape like an iceberg
in the sea. My mood changes quickly, to match
that of the sight I see. Envy courses through me.
I envy these children. They have security. Stability. Routine.
I have nothing but emptiness and pain.
They have goals. Targets. Aims.
I have nothing but regret and shame.
They have protection from the objects and knowledge that scares them.
I have nothing but myself, to rely on.
I miss school.
I miss the being around people,
the having to do homework,
the having something to do and
the having something to be part of.
Perhaps, though, I should not envy them.
For will they not, in time, face the World and it’s problems?
Will they not, one day, be defenceless and independent?
Perhaps, then, it is pity I should feel.
Pity and sorrow for the fact that, one day,
those unspoiled children will meet challenges so great
that their very existence is tested.
The smiling bundles of energy I have just watched
will mature into so many different things, despite the
obstacles. They may be famous. They may be useless.
They’ll be someone’s husband. They’ll be someone’s wife.
They scoff when we tell them, so they’ll learn the hard way,
that schooldays are the best ones of your life.
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