This was Mr Fergy’s room. He stayed
The whole time he was a teacher, at CV, till
They retired him. Decorated walls – posters now splayed –
Stand like the poor largesse of a teacher’s last will
And testament: windows look out to land
Still goal-posted; littered, Mr Fergy took
This view to be a great bird in one hand,
And in the other, words from any good poet’s book.
Behind the class door are ghosts: work in students’ bags;
The offering ‘I know the answer sir’ or an obvious lie;
A view of the far corner of the field and smoke from fags;
Then the echoes of those who would always try.
Toughing it out with teaching year after year to drown
The jabbering of ignorance egged on by
Those who, intending to build, only tore down,
His sufferance was to always ask why
He kept on plugging at the days and days,
Likewise the tugging down from this good job’s yolk.
It was always more than for the summer holidays
And Christmases when his Stocking Fillers spoke.
But if he stood and watched the December wind
Tousling memories, listened to what its blowing said,
Telling himself this was all there really was, and grinned,
And shivered, without shaking off the dread
That how he lived measures his own nature,
And at his age having no more to show
Than a collection of red printed volumes should make him sure
He warranted no better than what such words bestow.
- 2008 -
- 2008 -