UT SINT UNUM - THAT WE MAY BE ONE
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A few memories from my middle school which I attended in the late seventies ahead of the closure of the school site in a few weeks
It’s not just bricks and mortar
Nor a distant memory
But the ground roots of our livelihood
And our future destiny.
As this place prepares to close
When the final bell will sound
To mark the end of education
On these few acres of ground
So as the winds of change
Whistle down St Andrews Street
Time to take a look behind
Before it beats the last retreat....
To days when health and safety
Had not bound us up in rules
When “clackers”, “chinas”, “conkers”
Were all the rage in schools.
Chocolate crunch with strawberry custard
Was “ haute cuisine” at dinners
And monitors patrolled the room
Catching non-veg eating sinners !
Then there were school productions
That often caused a rumpus
I was told I didn’t look fierce enough
As a pirate in Columbus
It’s where I learnt the facts of life
Red faced at every showing
We gathered in the dining hall
To watch “living and growing”.
Girls in groups around the field
Playing games with white elastic
Or spinning tubes around their heads
Making noises quite fantastic
And on those heady summer days
In the shade of orchard trees,
I’d have my packed lunch and my drink
Smelling hops upon the breeze.
Groups of boys in mass migration,
Was quite a common sight ,
Swarming like bees round honey
To the battle cry of “fight!”
“Top cat” was on the telly
And so was “ Hong Kong Fooey”
We all brought board games into school
On the feast day of St Louis
Queuing up in tennis courts
Then marching to assembly,
I doubt they had such crowd control
For the FA cup at Wembley.
The changing rooms down by the pool
Were not far from the gym,
Where ropes and box and benches
Were designed to do you in.
Bassets sherbet from the tuck shop
A treat beyond belief
Matched only by the popping
Of “space rocks” on your teeth
So when the corridors are empty
And the babbling voices still,
Theses echoes and these memories
Shall future musings fill .....
For it’s not just bricks and mortar
Not just a place to swat and cram
It’s where the building blocks of selfhood
Turn the boy into a man.
Copyright © Mike Miller | Year Posted 2019
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