I Was The Dunce Of The School

I was called many cruel things in my young years such as buffoon and idiot and fool
Such insults to me were quite hurtful when i was the dunce of the school
I remember in primary school at the teacher i used to stick out my tongue at him behind his back
Till once he did happen to see me at it which left my right palm sore and black

When young i was a local ratbag a bit of a wild country boy
But learning of the ways of Nature a thing that i used to enjoy
And with Nature there is none to compare this is fact and fact never lie
Than us humans she is so much greater we go back to her when we die

You ask me why i don't have children i give you here one reason why
In my twenties i watched others get the young women to chat them up i was too shy
Many of the boys i went to school with are aging grandfathers today
And some of them not aging with grace in cosmetics and hair dyes they hide the signs of time's decay

I remember the nuns of the convent in fairness some of them okay
Though some of them were cruel to children and i mean cruel in a cruel way
I recall that they used to beat me for my sins to them i did pay
But i am big enough to forgive them since at peace they forever do lay

Some of the priests on Sunday preaching from the pulpit instilled in us the fear of god
They waffled on about morals and chastity which to say the least seemed a bit odd
As our train of thought often betrays us and our body language our private thoughts often divulge
When in the presence of young women in their trousers always a big bulge

Some of the boys i went to school with i did get along with okay
I often do wonder about them how many of them might be living today
We went on our separate life journeys and no two life journeys exactly the same
As a boy i was often called Francie though Francis is my given name

But some i went to school with i never could take to since they felt so superior to me
To prove themselves better than others they could boast of their uni degree
So full of their own self importance they became the snobs of the town
Suppose you have some to look up to if on others you choose to look down

I used to be so proud to be one from Millstreet but of that i am not proud anymore
Of the Parish i loved and was raised in i have never felt this way before
In Millstreet they follow the leader suppose they always were this way inclined
On injustices fueled by racism they seem to be ignorant or blind

The so called community leaders of Millstreet did seem to have nothing to say
When a young man who was seeking asylum from his wife and children from there was taken away
And worse a few suggested that he was not a good person though him they did not even know
In everyone who is judgemental their ignorance in their words does show

Some brave souls did speak out for Kamar though most of them not from Millstreet and living elsewhere
They can empathize with those who do know of the hard life from the bigger World out there
Perhaps i have said enough on the matter since enough is enough as some say
Suppose i am a man of my own thinking and i look at life in my own way

The things i disliked of in Millstreet i see all around me today
My past me far south it did follow and with me till i die will stay
In every town i have lived in the things i dislike in others i see
Could they be my reflective mirror are they that much different to me?

Snobbery, racism and class distinction are with us for to stay it does seem
At least this is how i do see it one shackled by low self esteem
I now live in Koroit in Victoria near the City of Warrnambool
Far south of Millstreet in Duhallow where i was the dunce of the school.

by Francis Duggan

Comments (1)

Very sad poem, Francis. Congratulations for having the courage to share this with us. I taught school for forty years and I have seen how some children can be very cruel to others. On the other hand, there are many good and kind people in the world. You can always find some of them to associate with.