Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dumb Chorus.

No one spoke.

Faces, kodachrome faded, once recognisable, had become nameless.


I scrutinise the rows of uniform.

Who was the boy on the left?

Who was the boy on the right?

They do not speak.

They stare.

Dumb Chorus.

Sitting and thinking, I furrow my brow.

I make a list.

Of the few faces that I retain:
  • an inspiring English teacher
  • the art teacher, 
  • the violently abusive headmaster, 
  • the housemaster, 
  • a chain-smoking French teacher.
  • a paedophile science teacher
  • a sadistic German teacher
  • a history teacher or two
  • a geography teacher.  
I can remember three or four names.

Hour upon hour of study... how many moments remain?

Hour upon hour of study... how many marks did I receive?

Two vivid bruises.

A dumb chorus.

Two or three people marked me for life.

Others left no apparent mark.

Image credit:

The Chorus (1876) by Edgar Degas, oil on canvas, Musée d'Orsay

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