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Jul 24
It was old
built of rough local stone,
mud and rough sawn
native pine.

There was a crack
down one corner
wide enough
to insert your hand.

No toilets
or running water,
just two foot tracks
over the hill
to the nearby creek,
one for girls
and one for boys.

A wobbly teacher’s desk,
a dozen or so
old student desks
and two chalk-boards
on easels
were the only furnishings.

It was winter –
dry, desert cold,
with morning frosts
and a freezing daytime wind.

For warmth
we’d feed a pine log
through the doorway
into the open fireplace
to feed a meagre fire,
our only source of warmth.

I keep a photograph of it still,
though the memory is so rich.
The chalkboard date is
24th April 1963,
although I had started there
three weeks earlier
on April Fools Day,
but it was no prank.
This was a place of learning,
and I was both teacher and a learner.
Mostly written for myself and our grandchildren, but why not share it.
John Wiley
Written by
John Wiley  81/M/Australia
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