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Eyes closed tight

Andy Lyle 1951 (Londonderry)



I’ve walked the roads with eyes closed tight
On summers days and winters nights
Never a car nor a van saw I
Just me, the road and the cloudy sky

My knees were bare and my face was too
Braced to meet what the weather threw
At my frail form as it made its way
From home to school and back each day

Three miles to school my legs would ply
Bag on my back tear in my eye
From biting wind and driving rain
And ill fitting shoes causing me much pain

In class at last I start to thaw
As the teacher with the chalk did draw
The questions on the board of black
She’d shout at us if we dared to slack

The bell has gone and it’s home time
I run out past the village sign
Turn right and up the old mill path
Which cuts my journey time in half

Past fields where corn and barley grew
Not yet turning their golden hue
But standing now quite strong and tall
Hiding the Corncrake, but not her call

For years my legs would carry me
From breakfast plate to Geography
From Latin to the river Bann
Then up the hill to home I ran

How lucky I was I realise now
To see the birds the sheep the cow
And share with them the wind and rain
Such freedom will we ever see again
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Submitted on January 16, 2021

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