Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Friday, May 29, 2015

At The Back Door Of Learning

School buildings only last a couple
of generations then new bond issues
must be floated and the tax burden
in New Hampshire towns fall on the
property owners.  For home owners
with no kids in need of book learning
these school bonds can be onerous.

Built in 1925 just before the
Great Depression my class would be
the last to be graduated from the
old Goffstown High School in 1963.

In the spring of my Junior year I had
mid-morning migraines so bad that I
would ask to be excused and stand
on the steps to the back door.  The door,
with a fire-door bar, opened with a
“thunk” sound much like a clutch pedal
being released.

The steps and doors faced north and
on cold March days, standing in the
shade, I felt the cold would shrivel
the vascular distension across  my
right temple and gums that was all
but unbearable - and give some relief. 

There was a single lane road on
the north side of school and beyond
a dog-wire fence was the back yard
of a house bathed in bright sunshine.
Once a man only a few days from death –
sent home by a country doctor to die –
sat in a wooden lounger.  He wore
pajamas but was bundled up in a
bathrobe. Someone, a wife, a nurse,
must have deposited him, there
because he was too weak to walk.

So there I stood rigid with pain in
the cold shade hoping for relief and
with another fifty years or so to live
while less than a hundred feet away
a man lounged near death while
the March sun did its hoochie koo
dance for him promising, and although
I did not know it then, promising us
both soon to come release.

FG May 29, 2015 

These look like fancier doors than I remember. The railings then were just black, three-inch iron pipe, too.  I know the school building has been made into apartments, so changes must have been made.