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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

    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.
    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 back to school.
    Welcome to a new start
    A new year
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