Poems for the Lockdown - the Leaving Cert

Poet Kevin Higgins provides a Galway related poem to chime with these strange times

There I am, still dreading that moment, when the supervisor says: “You may begin”

There I am, still dreading that moment, when the supervisor says: “You may begin”

THIS POEM is from my first collection, The Boy With No Face, which came out in 2005. If I remember right, I wrote it in 2000. It was inspired, or rather provoked, by walking down St Mary’s Road one evening.

Walking there reminded me of being on that same road the evening before I got my Leaving Cert results in August 1985, awaiting the results with dread. The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, recently announced that all Leaving Certificate written examinations, due to take place in May and June, have been rescheduled to late July/early August (he hopes ). I would have been ecstatic at such a delay back in 1985.

'Remembering the Leaving Cert'

At times like this; the black

thoughts gathering like jackdaws;

it’s as if, after all these years,

I’m still the same schoolboy revolutionary,

who’d rather declare war on the free world,

than swot for an honours maths exam.

There I am, still dreading that moment,

when the supervisor says: “You may begin”;

still slouching down St Mary’s Road

the night before the results arrived,

still hoping against hope the envelope

somehow gets lost in the post.

 

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