The Old School House – 16 August 2014

The Old School House is slowly forgetting its beginnings
Much altered, the brick building now houses holidaymakers
Week by week new faces appear and vanish
The certainty brought by the school bell is at an end
Gone are the master’s old wooden desk and cane so carefully kept
The piles of school books awaiting attention are no more
The mortarboard and old school tie are now forgotten
The children, who once held the building in awe, have now left
Even the school itself has been expunged from the modern map
Where once the master cooked his bread on the fire
The toasting fork now stands unused beside an empty grate
Today, the once snug front door stands bowed
Beaten back by the weather
Slugs now slide underneath
Their paths marked by silvery trails on the carpet
Inside, the rooms have been changed
Altered beyond recognition to accommodate paying guests
The kitchen now boasts ‘all mod cons’
A dishwasher and digital radio to make those staying ‘feel at home’
Upstairs, now an ‘en suite’ with corner bath
Downstairs a playroom with its own television
The old beams that supported the master’s roof remain
Left intact to retain character
What scenes have they witnessed in their time here?
What tales could they tell us of forgotten years?
Where once the master’s dog would sit and gnaw a bone
People can now bring their own pets
Unwilling to be without them
The ceramic bathtub where once the master reclined
Contemplating his long day in silence, perhaps with a small glass
Ripped out and replaced by plastic
Silence shattered by the relentless drone of an extractor fan
Little wonder that the visitors’ book lies empty
Each completed page removed in turn
Views of former guests, like the former master’s thoughts, unknown
Perhaps it is for the best that he is no longer here
Unable to see how his former home has changed
His home, like his school, of which he was so proud
His home, where he could close the front door on the world outside
Each passing week, passing month, passing year
A little more is forgotten
A few more memories lost forever
Today, just the name remains as testament to a long-lost life
Proudly displayed beside the warped front door
The Old School House

© Phil Bray, August 2014

This entry was posted by philhbray.

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