5 – 10 – 15 #WorldTeachersDay #5thOctober2015

5, 10 and 15 are the hours my body chooses to remember:
Waking up abruptly to the hateful chorus of mechanical clocks
To face the day at 5am with short thermometer fluids.
Then at 10am the buffaloes stampede to the stream, the slide,
A swing overworked while a throng stand and wait to turn,
Unable to see 10h30am where the fun all ends. The balls are working too,
Until all have to wear sad faces at the classroom door.
15h00 to familiar aromas, tastes, visuals, and instead of homework,
I’m studying stage 2 of Super Mario Bros with A-B-C, then X-Y, then L-R
Hoping dad and mum are late enough that I finally make it over
The mathematical complexity of leaping over this gorge!


However, between the 5, 10 and 15 is the treasure my brain will remember.
Glue, match sticks and cardboard were Picasso’s iceberg tip, like me
Then letters like weird glyphs found meaning in a word ballet
On the pages, chalkboards, white on black wisdom screeching in the heat
And my eyes were still sleepy from late night Nintendo adventures.
The smiley faces became ticks, the ticks became grades, the grades
Became appraisals, and each aimed to keep me from straying
And make that other kid proud that he stayed furthest ahead of the pack.
The pressurized air bounces around the room sans-echo:
Years of research presented to my ignorant brain in seconds
And over and over again, I finally get it, and scorn those blokes
Of years past who couldn’t figure out that the apple WILL fall down.
Do it like this, not like this! Manners, planning, praying:
I soaked them all up in floating waves around my ears near my peers,
Till soon I was so filled, I was letting them out to other sponges.
Sadly, none of that ever fixed the chicken scratch I call handwriting!


5, 10 and 15 those three numbers which represent all you were to me:
End of nursery, end of primary, end of secondary and start university!
At each junction you stood, waiting to direct me, and whip…mean correct me.
Thank you the teachers who’ve made me who I’ve become today,
Who shaped the words I’ve chosen to write
And the way I say the jokes which make the souls of friends light.
You’re the garden of the world, for all that is dark and all that is right,
The under-looked power changing the world with red pen, white chalk and black board.


(c) Nyonglema


R.I.P. Mum…you’re the teacher I miss the most, till we meet again!

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