Revisiting

Revisiting NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

She could still hear

The sound of children.

The thunk of balls

Against the chain link fence

Where the big kids

Played.

The smell of dust

From the yard

By the old concrete

Stage.

See the tiny kiosk

Near the gate,

And the ancient seller

Who was always

There.

Feel the coolness of

The main building

As you walked in from

The bottom of the outside

Stairs.

The smell of paint

And cardboard.

The metal-legged

Chairs.

And the hopeful

Cacophony

Of children on recorders

In the music room

Elsewhere.

 

Oh, she knew that

The yard was empty.

No hubbub actually

Filled the evening

Air.

Still the decades tumbled

As memory bloomed,

Transporting

Now to then

With an unexpected

Flare.

So much has

Stayed

The same,

Even as so much has

Changed

In her.

 

 

 

For the dVerse poetry challenge

Note: This photo was taken last year in my elementary school, which I had occasion to visit one early evening after not seeing the place for decades. It was a magical, if complicated, revisiting.

 

 

20 thoughts on “Revisiting

    • Thank you, Lucy.
      I’m glad this was communicated. Yes, it was an interesting visit, especially because I really expected everything to look so different than the way I’d remembered it and then … well … so much of it looked JUST as I’d remembered. Not identical, of course, but enough so it was ‘whoa, this really is how it was’ kind of experience. 🙂
      Thanks again!
      Na’ama

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Shweta. Yes, memories do remain, changed as they may sometimes themselves be in the process of growing up with us and growing on us or being seen through the lens of time. 🙂 Na’ama

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  1. I love the use of sound (the thunk of balls against the chain link fence and the cacophony of children on recorders) and smell (dust, paint, cardboard) to create atmosphere and sense of place in this poem, Na’ama. It brought back memories of my own schooldays. I remember that feeling when I visited one of my old schools many years later, and the final lines ring true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad, Kim, that it resonated.
      Isn’t it amazing that the sensory input of schools is probably quite universal (at least in similarly developed countries), and that so many of us can relate? 🙂
      That school is over 120 years old and while some of the buildings have obviously been adapted (we had no AC or heat in the classrooms when I was growing up), and the school expanded some, the older buildings have been kept and I loved seeing how the old layout was combined with the newer additions in a way that was absolutely recognizable to me, even after decades away. Was a complicated, but lovely revisiting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Miriam! I’m so glad it spoke to you and I’m gratified that it resonated. I think many of us share some aspects of “school sensory memory” and can ‘revisit’ in our own way, the memories of the way we were.
      It was a sweetly sad afternoon. Childhood is a complicated thing, and schools are often intertwined with those times. However, I was mostly quite astonished that so much had remained recognizable, and so little of the foundations of the school (an over 120 year old school) and main buildings have been beautifully maintained, rather than replaced. It felt like a gift.
      Na’ama

      Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly!! Yes, and in that case, I was surprised (and gratified) that so much had remained the same! Even though a lot did change around the original buildings, the main ones (it is a 120 year old school and the buildings I studied in were old decades ago …), had been maintained in a way that the overall sense, at least in some areas of the campus, were eerily unchanged! 🙂

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    • It had been a complicated time for me in the years in that school, but the school itself wasn’t the issue. Or not really. So, yes, it was an interesting revisiting, and I was quite surprised that so much of it looked so much as I had remembered it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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