Impossible as it seems now, in the late 1940’s when I was a child, I was sent to an Open Air School 300 and more miles from where I lived.  We slept in wards with windows wide open every night and had a routine which was totally, utterly foreign to me.  However, because of that school, I’m still here to tell the tale!


The first time I saw the school I had been sent to,
I thought it was a school for witches,
For the great house leaning against the forest
Was dark as night.
With only its snaggle toothed windows blazing in the moonlight.

Of course, it wasn’t a school for witches.
They only visited.
Swooping in through the open tops of windows
On their broomsticks,
Trying to make out they were the shadows of trees.
Bumping to a stop in the middle of the dormitory,
Where nothing could move them.

Nothing, that is, until Sister Sweet came crackling in,
All fiery with starch and bad temper.
Her purple hands so big, entire cities were built on her palms.
She made them shift.
The only thing I ever had Sister Sweet to thank for,
In the whole year I spent at that school I was sent to.

                                                                     © GWEN GRANT

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