My first brush with schooling was haunting, so this gives me a chill of recognition. Those of us who serve as the gatekeepers to a young person's wider world should help portray it as a welcoming rather than a fearful place.
I had a very haunting experience in an abandoned schoolhouse ... it has remained with me and thus the poem ... Thanks so much for commenting, Seth.
That picture reminds me alot of the old abandoned school house in the town I grew up in. Town historians swore that Harry Reasoner attended grade school there for a couple of years. Older residents said the school was run by a strict disciplinarian. I attended the Catholic school where beating were almost an everyday occurrence. The parish priest was said to have night time visitors. Grade school-aged girls feared his "advances." Then in high school a different priest sexually abused several boys. Luckily I was not his "cup of tea." Lives were ruined. One is dead. One has been in an institution for 30 years. The other one is in a daily living hell. I can relate to this post. Apogees for the length.
It amazes me that so many Catholic schools were run by very authoritarian types with very little of the Christ love they otherwise espoused. I did not attend a Catholic school but saw a few boys in class roughed up and slapped by teachers. I know one who is still struggling with what happened ... and in some cases it ran into sexual abuse which you mentioned. All too often school is a breeding ground for abuse on many levels. In the case of this poem, I experienced something other-worldly and still haven't forgotten ... I'm always grateful for your thoughtful comments.
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