Looking back on my lifelong road of learning,
Some like myself, have fallen through the cracks.
Yet, my heart kept yearning,
Knowing now the tools that were needed, I lacked.
I am fifty-seven now,
With old age creeping at my door.
To be, to it, a victim I will not allow,
For I decided to ask for a little more!
Thinking back to my youthful years,
It's true I failed to achieve grade four.
Should I wallow in self-pity-tears?
No! I've decided to knock on that learner’s door.
The day came when I entered the seventh class,
Finding I did not have those basic tools needed!
It was quite apparent that I would not pass,
From the schoolyard I was weeded.
Into a special-help-class I was placed,
With a new teacher who gave to me her caring time.
As I moved along like a small snail at slower pace,
Until I reached grade nine.
I decided to take up bricklaying.
At that time vocational schools were made available.
Lacking the tools needed, in loss I had to pay.
If only I had memorized my multiplication tables.
As the wheel-of-time turned into nineteen-seventy-one,
I wrote a test to attend the Collage of Art.
The questions seemed beyond my reach, and then some.
To my surprise I passed and with that I felt pretty smart.
Sad now to say,
For personal reasons at the time.
From it I walked away.
To this very hour it continues to gnaw in my mind.
Within a new vocational school I made another effort.
The Trade of Certified Upholster I attained.
Often I feel like a lost soul in the desert,
Longing for knowledge as if needing water to ease the pain.
The secret for escape is found in more knowledge.
Day after day I would write upon the dry sand.
Asking for a little help to attain the needed-inner-edge,
Only to have the wind blow away what I had wrote with my hand.
Each time it would remind me of my youthful years in school,
How I struggled in silence with that nagging pain.
As I missed those needed pieces of basic golden rules,
Wishing for time to stop and to shower my desert with rain.
To me my therapist explained,
The wind does not have the right to take this away.
You deserve it, to be on the road of learning,
To the desert your soul you need not pay.
Now as I begin to write with ink upon this page,
A new chapter I have just started.
Even though I am fifty-seven years of age, Unlike sand these new words cannot be parted.
Whenever the wind blows across my path,
I can look out over the sand dunes and hills.
As my teacher unlocks the secrets of English and Math,
I now can see my dream, I can succeed and I will.
My quest in the beginning was for knowledge,
As the pages on this pathway stream keep turning.
My new teacher has helped me to gain that needed edge.
I have finally found the secret that lies in the joy of learning