On the Bunk

You recall those days when you should have been at school but well….ye weren’t?

On the Bunk

Who knows whose plan it was.
We did it just because

we could and in Hill Street met
near the aptly named You Bet.

Our going was good to fair,
promised land for colt and mare.

But we not quite as fast
gathered near the old flag mast.

To escape the ever watchful eye
of observant teachers walking by

we from our bags fast removed
old clothes that quickly proved

a neat disguise. In we blended
but success it still depended

on getting up the Barcroft Hill
before doubt might wilt our will.

My mate shared an age with me,
the girls the same numerically.

I liked Anne, her laugh was rude
and in her eyes I understood

that she was as mad as any.
Al was shy but of the many

forays dark discoes saw
Michelle held his heart enthrall.

Against the tide of uniforms
bound for multi subject storms

we four crossed the grey canal,
the sky the same, quite banal.

Excited, anxious at the deed
we increased our walking speed

until a quarter after nine
we set out on the steep incline.

On we pushed higher, higher
until we saw the skyward spire

of the Cathedral, arrow straight,
going back was now too late.

There beyond the din of faces
we had reached the best of places,

a silent and abandoned shed,
in place of cows us instead.

After that the seconds slowed
as several bales we threw below

and used as desks. Well not quite
but at the time they felt just right.

We talked and laughed, tensions eased
our great escape all had pleased.

A cigarette by Anne was lit
and calmly blew the smoke from it

to douse the match. Oh how cool!
Far better craic than French at school.

We shared the hot ash-ended stick
after which I felt quite sick

but did not let on in case Anne thought
by tobacco I was overwrought.

Michelle and Al checked their bags
and both pulled out a box of fags.

I left them puffing for a while
and knew that smoke was not my style.

The time slowly moved till noon,
afterwards did not come soon

until at two and more miles walked
hunger’s army us had stalked.

In the tempest of the feat
none had brought a thing to eat.

Allied now with mist and drizzle
all I could hear was the sizzle

of a Pat’s burger as he said
the immortal words ‘onions…red?’

We set out again back to town
from Carnaget, a long way down

the Barcroft Hill to Dominic Street.
Damp of clothes and wet of feet

we trudged slowly to the square
and saw school mates meeting there.

We brave faces to them showed.
Praise and awe swiftly followed

as we relayed a raucous day
on the bunk mid straw and hay.

Michelle and Anne bid us farewell.
Impressed or not we could not tell

though ever since each time we met
Anne offered me a cigarette.

Of course she knew that I’d refuse
but would always ask ‘any news

about the boul’ Michelle and Al?
Ye mind the day on Newry canal?’

Memories remain almost complete
so that when I see upon the street

a gang of four or six or eight
and for school they are too late,

that wonders wide fill their eyes
before time slows, before time flies.On the Bunk

 

 

About divilthebit

Husband/father/musician (guitar, banjo) singer/songwriter/poet, storyteller, writer (www.nuthollow.com) Irish speaker, B&B proprietor http://www.wix.com/divilthebit/teachancheoil
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2 Responses to On the Bunk

  1. Haha – happy memories… I only ever bunked off school once – along with the girl who was considered to be the “baddest ” in our year. It turned out she saved all her badness for school time. I was so disappointed that I never bothered again.

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