Today is Different

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(My first memory)

Today is different, I feel it!
Is it excitement or is it fear?
Slowly, I walk alongside my mother’s bicycle.
She chats – I feel her apprehension.
We finally reach our destination
(A red brick house, quite small)
I go inside, holding her hand tightly –
Or is she tightly holding mine, fearful to let go?
*****
I am taken into a room – a lady smiles!
My hand is passed across to hers.
I don’t want to go but I know that I must
And I watch as mother disappears into the distance.
Now others appear, all reluctant as I, all passed across and confused.
We do not speak – but we know fear binds us.
We sit down, with big, round, staring eyes.
We bite out top lips to inhibit our cries.
‘I will not cry. I will not look a fool!’
‘Welcome’, she says, ‘to your first day at school!’

*****

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