‘Dust, a Sestina’ by Sally Carter The Society December 11, 2012 Poetry 4 Comments The village school is cold and still. Its entrance gate is rusted shut, the playground overwhelmed by sounds of loaded lorries, hissing past, no noise but theirs to fill a school where only shadows come to play. A figure joins the shadow play. It was a life ago, but still she sees a teacher by the school, for though the doors are bolted shut, no bolt defends against the past. She watches, waits; a class bell sounds. How loss can pierce with splintered sounds, and then what stealthy tricks will play, to tangle yearning for the past with images we strive to still; ’til longing opens sorrows shut away – a touch, a smile, a school. Who of us fully learns to school our thoughts, to sieve the pain from sounds that seep through seals we thought were shut? He mouths the lines from some old play, she hears a boy who calls her still – though thirty silent years have passed. In grief, the classroom numbed the past; she found a meaning here at school, but all her teaching failed to still the scenes, their dreams – enduring sounds of one dear grubby child at play, whose loss left wounds which never shut. She longs to let the album shut, lock sorrow in a drawer marked “Past”, but shadows taunt and interplay like pupils skipping home from school. And though she strains to hold their sounds, the last has left, the yard is still. She turns, but still her heart won’t shut, won’t mute the sounds of sorrows past which haunt this school where shadows play. This poem is among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related 4 Responses John J. Brugaletta December 11, 2012 Well done, and in tetrameters too. Reply Sally December 12, 2012 Thank you so much John. I am new here and still trying to find my way round! Glad you enjoyed this. I hope to post another sestina soon. Reply anon December 13, 2012 This is such a Delicate, gentle insightful text – truly gossamer, and yet tenuous in its depths, this poet has amazing grace, I am so glad this was posted – it is unusual to read such gentility of thought, Reply Sally December 14, 2012 Thank you so much! I appreciate your very encouraging comments. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.