DK (1951 / UK)

The Summer Of Sixty Eight

It wasn’t the summer of 69
It was the summer of 68
A levels
Leaving school
Suddenly the map of life changed
School bullies puffed up on hormonal bravado
Were now like amateur men
John Marshall
A school bully
Who, strangely, I got on with
Me with my sticky out ears and buck teeth and skinniness
Him with that rascal look
Him who’d got two B’s
And me with my 4 A’s
Summer
Hot – at least for England.

We’d all got our results
No more school uniform
Eighteen
But still sitting near the kids’ playground
At ‘the Marsh’
We’d grown up there
Been kids there
And now the great divide would come
Me – university to study maths
Him – he had no idea.

Forty years later
Him – a mental health nurse in Leeds
Me - a mental health patient in Gosford
What happened to that divide?
To that parting of the ways?
Had we just taken different paths
But followed the same journey
Though to different destinations?

The sun’s now shining in Australia
But it’s wet and cold in Leeds
I think he may be happier
For not wanting to succeed.

by David Keig

Comments (3)

If you're English you definitely need to get rid of the AMERICAN accent. But, I could also interchange through TO destinations. with 'Two' destinations. Also, A MAJOR correction, it wasn't said who was still sitting near the kids playground, you or him? A NOTE: any sort of nurse, let alone a psych nurse, is NOT of no achievement, especially when someone is weak of wits& at their standing up for us. He may have been observing humans & their behaviour. Not everyone's meant to go to Uni.
Not as bad as the former about 'The Abos', theStolengeneration! You really DO need to stop an American accent reading out your poems.Summer of '68 I reckon should read 'through 2different destinations.What do you think? How can you say he didn't want to succeed? ! It's Very effective being any sort of nurse.Now, to the Stolen Generation, It definitely didn't happen that way, it definitely didn't.
Strange the way the world spins us in and out of time.