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Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon

by
 The unrelated paragraphs of morning
Are forgotten now; the severed heads of kings
Rot by the misty Thames; the roses of York
And Lancaster are pressed between the leaves
Of history; Negroes sleep in Africa.
The complexities of simple interest lurk In inkwells and the brittle sticks of chalk: Afternoon is come and English Grammar.
Rain falls as though the sky has been bereaved, Stutters its inarticulate grief on glass Of every lachrymose pane.
The children read Their books or make pretence of concentration, Each bowed head seems bent in supplication Or resignation to the fate that waits In the unmapped forests of the future.
Is it their doomed innocence noon weeps for? In each diminutive breast a human heart Pumps out the necessary blood: desires, Pains and ecstasies surf-ride each singing wave Which breaks in darkness on the mental shores.
Each child is disciplined; absorbed and still At his small desk.
Yet lift the lid and see, Amidst frayed books and pencils, other shapes: Vicious rope, glaring blade, the gun cocked to kill.

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