To a Crucifix on the Staffroom Wall

on leaving the teaching staff at Wimbledon College

No words, not many looks to you are paid.
The work and years and minds and talk are blind,
mole-blind, scrabbling through school-life; human-blind
that miss you here though following in your trade.
Christ stands in the staffroom: but is overlaid
by a different room, men’s time – so hard to find
through the organisation of boys and the paper grind –
I see you once, as I go.
But still your aid
is hanging, like a picture in the room
and in my mind. Piled desks, job-politics,
and praise and abuse of boys – a crucifix
small on the wall, fixed in shadows’ gloom,
forgotten almost, will all fineness hold:
twisted in agony, and worked in gold.

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