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  • I’ve been at school several weeks now

    After 5 weeks on island time

    Living with the tide and sun

    Suddenly I’m sitting through meetings

    Boxed in by schedules

    Summoned by the imperious red light of my Blackberry.

    Life reduced to a

    blurred montage of scenes

    4:45 a.m. Arrival Gate A

    Meeting the first round of new staff at the airport

    Settle them in to a new country;

    cars, appliances and bank accounts.

    A new school;

    handbooks, assignments and expectations.

    Construction tours

    Snag lists

    Deadlines

    WTF

    A room chock-a-block full to the ceiling of boxes labelled in a code

    always hidden on the side on the bottom.

    30 tables to be assembled.

    17 sets of legs.

    Whiteboards mounted

    Moved from here to there

    Sometimes back again

    A virtual flood of

    Tech and maintenance requests.

    An army of workers cleans and rakes and plants

    and takes synchronized tea breaks.

    All for this:

    To throw open the school bus door as soon as it has stopped

    Let loose a flood of grins

    Mr. Ben, look I lost a tooth.

    Hugs

    Watching anxious glances become smiles

    And see the new kid in grade 7 reach out and take the hand of a first grader

    and walk together into the new school year.

    Come on, he says. I’ll show you.

    Welcome.

    Welcome back to school.

    Welcome to a new start

    A new year

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