First Night ‘Lights Out’

I had always been an adventurous child. Being the youngest of three, I was frequently the first for any new experience: smoking, kissing girls, solo travels and boarding school. That boarding school experience was both the making and unmaking of me. I have an unutterable fondness for all that Newtown School gave me…

Illustrations: KatyaZhu.com

trunk

My petite mother and I heaved

the heavy trunk, patterned with studs,

thick leather handles almost cleaved

soft-skinned palms – but drew no blood.

 

To Goods carriage, down platform tiled,

we lifted the labelled, elephantine case –

farewell faces through train window smiled,

no tears on this boy boarder’s face.

 

carriage

Rowdy rail carriage, specially booked,

male-female friendships quickly made;

this loner quite content, if overlooked:

an individualist, not in the least afraid.

 

Outside the train window, passed

dark outlined fields, and lamp-lit towns

two hours later, Waterford at last,

and one old friend accidentally found.

 

 

dorm

Our bus entered granite gates,

engine stopped, shoving started,

in Autumn darkness I couldn’t locate

my dorm, slightly down-hearted.

 

At first night ‘Lights-Out’ some quietly wept

but not this boy! Boarder by choice;

school scenes still revered, treasure-kept:

fond memories recalled in quavery voice.

 

train

At first night ‘lights-out’ some quietly wept –

(but not this boy!) boarder by choice;

school scenes still revered, treasure-kept:

fond memories recalled in quavery voice.

 

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