The Croup

Frosted Field by Richard Reeve

The lungs and the larynx

so weakened by the delivery

that at ten years old

I was the kid

seated in the back corner

of the classroom

sounding off in triplets,

a wheezing cough

you might mistake

for emphysema,

disrupting the class

till I’d be sent on silly errands

so the other kids could try to focus

on their lessons.

Often it was to give the janitor

a message, Mr. Mercury,

a retiree that carved walking sticks

out of maple saplings, the root balls

providing provocative crowns

to each of his staffs.

He’d let me handle his pocket knife

and work along some roughness

he had yet to attend to.

Till this day, he defines for me

kindness and care,

and has continued as my guide

for what it means to be human.

17 thoughts on “The Croup

  1. Shame he maybe never knew, but then probably he didn’t need to. There are lots of beautiful people around us in this wilderness where we live. However we are so busy we are blind to what is around us. A grand and important memory of this great person.3

  2. It can be a simple act of kindness to influence your life for the long term. You can be your own worst critic with insecurities. And then? An art teacher is there to enthuse, inspire and put you in for your art exam a year earlier than normal where you pass with a Grade 1. It spurs you on, gives you comfort in realising confidence and puts your life’s journey in first gear. Again, a lovely flowing read from you. All the best.

      1. Cheers. Actually. I’m writing a fair few lyrics and trying out some new tunes presently. Picking up my guitar a little more often. Nice after the decorating with the paint brush to change it for a half an hour or more on the dreadnought. Your own writing is pretty much inspiring me to try different styles. So I’m experimenting a bit with your amazing succinct descriptive style. Trying to put tunes to some of new words and ideas I’m writing down. So thank you. Mind you. Lyrics to songs have a different rhythm to attach to sung out tunes. So I’ll probably have to revert back to the old ‘writing a song’ format. Interesting though. All the best.

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