We all have them somewhere,
we few, we few, we privileged few,
sent away to boarding school
before we even knew what was
tucked away in old school trunks,
or locked away, cobweb-covered,
in the dark recesses of parental minds.
This is my ‘back-to-school’ list.
It contains everything a young boy
needs, or can think of, when leaving home:
shoes, shoe polish, many brushes for shoes,
hair, clothes, teeth… everything: name tags,
shirts, socks, underpants, trousers,
jerseys, ties (of a quiet color),
sheets, pillow cases, hankies,
sports shirts (house and school),
pen, pencils, ink, blotting paper.
So many memories spring out
from this list, so many skeletons
shake their fists, or wag a finger, or wave,
hello, farewell, from that old trunk.
Look: the safety razor to shave
that first hint of hair on a juvenile face.
Bible and prayer book, too,
though I never used them.