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The Gorgon of St Gwyndydd’s school

By: Andrew Birch

The Gorgon of St Gwyndydd’s school: Part 1
Silence as they creep up stair
On cotton soles cold and soft
A gasp from all around us came
As Agnes Brewer coughed.

Silence in the maths room
As creep and pad we go
For children in the library
Working hard below

And there she stands, with bronze like stare
Gorgon turn to stone
Miss Brocklebank the fierce and cold
As she stands before her throne

And meek and mild the peasants we
Cower in her stare
The quiet scratch of pencil
No laughter in the air

How she cries behind the iron mask
That’s locked onto her face
How deep the regret within her soul
As she ponders her life’s place

Her precious mother under earth
After three kings sat on high
Too late, she cared for ancient life
Too late did mother die

Warm of breast, secrets untold
Pleasure locked within
Oh she would give her life to chance
Unlock the sin within

The laughter in the hallways
Old Bottle-bank sternly stood
Dreaming of the stable boy
And being ridden hard and good

Chances lost, time ebbs away
Look not to life’s regret
Better yet seek the opportune
For the dream might come true yet.


The Gorgon of St Gwyndydd’s school: Part 2
Silently we padded past
The Gorgon’s baleful stare
And shivered to our classroom
To meet the monster there

Fingers and toes all cold as ice
heads bowed, we shuffled in
little shoes lined up at the door
to make not the ”wretched din”

And then the Gorgon entered
And coldly looked upon
“Pencils out! Take down these notes”
All thoughts of childhood gone.

Old Bottle-bank the warden
Of her little prisoners there,
Scribbling fearfully in their notebooks
Under their teacher’s baleful stare.

Miss Grace with her light and humor
Mr Mallet wise, firm and old.
Mrs Dean with her jolly laughter
Miss Brocklebank strict and cold

And yet something strange had happened
To our teacher stood erect
With arms folded across her chest
Touched a bruise upon her neck

And as she saw me staring,
She turned quite full away
I watched her face grow flushed
As there came another day

The passion locked outside her soul
No love would dare come near
Until her mother was under earth
Now passed too long a year

And then one night it happened
To the teacher in the rain
Scurrying to get inside
And out of winter’s pain.

She skidded in the darkened hall
Brocklebank fell on stone
A young man came up running
As he passed, he had heard her moan

“Let me help you up”, he said.
“Are you sure you are quite well?”
Upon instinct he held her very close
And she felt his bulging swell.

“Mr Edwards horse had grown quite lame,”
The young man thus explained
“And so I came to fetch him
Poor beast bitterly complained.”

She felt the sudden coldness
As the passion turned away
“Thank you sir, I am quite well.
But I must bid you quick good day”

Miss Brocklebank turned and walked away
Oh how her soul was scarred,
She thought of her saviour horseman
And of being ridden hard.

His hands were firm and strong and tough
And her heart began to steal
She thought of his skill with an untrained mare
And her strong spirit brought to heel.

“You fell with quite a wallop
When you made that awful slip
Come down towards the stable
And I’ll massage your hip”

He looked at her with daring
The coldness on her face
And hidden delights that dwelt beneath
And her pulse began to race.

Her body then betrayed her
The ice queen dropped her guard
As her led her to her stable
To ride her good and hard.

She could not help the laughter
Mother’s disapproving stare
“Never let a man come even close,
For he will touch you ‘there’”

She laughed each time he touched her,
And rode her firm and strong
Her passions full awakened
When he touched her hard and long.

She was his secret lover
For her, he cared so much
Whene-er they met in the icy halls
She shivered with his touch.

And as I watched, her blush grew full
As if her classroom knew
And she smiled full of light and warmth
The cold quite full eschew.

As I watched she turned to me,
“Let not your heart be cold”
She touched me upon my little arm
“Don’t wait till you are old”

I looked up at the monster
Stood before my desk
Her face was built into a handsome smile
And lost its once grotesque.

No one knew that they were lovers
No one knew they shared a bed
The entire school was quite surprised
When they announced that they would wed

And all the children went along
And those who shared the school’s employ
Saw handsome Agnes Brocklebank
Marry her stable boy.

We still fear inside her classroom
We squirm underneath her stare
But we work our very hardest
For there is soon a smile in there.


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