Abandoned School House
On the wind-swept Nebraska prairie sits a building in wretched shambles,
Surrounded by a sagging fence and overgrown with prickly brambles.
It was once a bustling one-room school house, abandoned long ago.
Its weather-beaten clapboards, I judged to be a century old or so.
Atop its cupola, swaying listlessly in the wind, was a rusted weather vane.
Eerily, at the whim of the wind, the school bell still tolled now and again.
Two ancient oak trees stood sentinel seeming to provide a guard,
To ensure that trespassers like me would value its past with high regard.
I warily opened the door, its rusty hinges protesting, to take a look inside.
Mice skittered across the dusty floor and cobwebs I had to brush aside.
There were well-worn desks, a blackboard and pot-bellied stove for heat.
To muse about its past and the ghosts of scholars of yore, I took a seat.
I pictured the schoolmarm who taught readin', writin' and basic math,
Who struggled to maintain order with imps who suffered her fearful wrath!
Little girls looked so prim in their pinafores and gingham frocks;
The boys wore knickers, buckled boots and gaudy argyle socks!
I could hear the droning recitations of pupils whose attention would digress,
To the ticking of the school clock anticipating the merriment of recess!
I noted relief on the teacher's face when at last the kids were released.
I sensed that she felt she had been nurturing a horde of wild beasts!
Copyright © Robert L. Hinshaw | Year Posted 2019
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