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Maggie



To Margaret H Mair,
English Teacher and Mentor,
with respect and thanks.

She was small and she was fierce,
I thought she was centuries old,
But hidden not so deep
Was a heart of burnished gold.
She read Shakespeare with a passion
Undimmed by teaching's years
And she seemed to understand
My barely controlled fears;

From my quiet village school
With maybe forty girls and boys
Now loose in this monstrosity
Full of crowds and noise.
With a hunger to learn
Those things to me so very new,
Over awed by the sheer size
Not knowing what to say or do;

But she bullied and cajoled
And got the mixture right
She gave me the confidence
To believe in what I write
In a period when being a poet
Made one a little suspect
Not the type of things folk
Would generally expect.

The last time I saw her
Was nearly fifty years ago,
Both leaving the theatre
After a matinee show.
We spoke for a while
And then she was gone
That way things sometimes are
As life moves slowly surely on.








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