June 14, 1999
This poem was written by Thomas Matheson, from Miramichi, New Brunswick. Thomas lives in the the former Newcastle section of Miramichi with his wife Shirley. His daughter Shannon, is working in Fredericton and his son, Scott, is attending business college in Moncton. When his job as a longshoreman became obsolete, Thomas decided to go back to Nelson Learning in the Workplace Initiative Program and finish the schooling he had left as a teenager. He is presently employed with a security company as a guard so his decision has paid off. His hobbies include bowling, boating, hunting and fishing.
I'll tell you a little about our
class. They're a bit of all right.
I'll start from the left and work to the right.
First, there's Paul who likes to work out.
Day after day so his muscles will sprout.
He came here to gather a little bit of knowledge.
But who knows he may end up at the college.
Then over to Louis, he's a pretty good sport.
He's not too tall and he's not too short.
Day after day he works pretty hard.
But he would sooner be home in his own back yard.
Then there's Brian, he's not getting any thinner.
He knows Toronto is always a winner.
He takes the shortcut over the path.
So he can save time to study his Math.
Then there's Mike, we can't forget to mention.
He's almost ready to get the pension.
He always bring the boys over toffee.
And he's also the best at making the coffee.
Then there's Frankie with his Math book he dreads.
Because Lew always bugs him since he's ahead.
But don't worry Frankie, you'll catch on.
And when the dye comes out, Lew will be gone.
Then there's Charles, don't hold your breath.
He'll hit the table and scare you to death.
But he's still young strong and able.
But can't seem to get his feet under the table.
Then there's tall, lanky Lew who looks like a preacher.
He's gonna get killed for bugging the teacher.
She said, "Lew, get at your Science.
And don't give me any more defiance."
Then there's Clifford who works hard at his house.
He sits in the corner as quiet as a mouse.
But one of these days he's gonna break loose.
Then he'll take off for town as fast as a moose.
Then there's Owen, as smart as a whip.
But he'd sooner be over working a ship.
He's pretty quiet until he gets going'.
So clear the track here comes Owen.
Then there's me and what can I say.
I do my best from day to day.
And when they say next period is Math.
I wish I was home taking a bath.
Then there's James, he's just a dandy.
He's always eating his chips and candy.
I'm scared that if I bring him a treat.
He won't be able to fit in his seat.
Then there's Ray, he acts a little silly.
And day after day he's always so chilly.
One of these days it's gonna get hotter.
And he can go outside on the teeter-totter.
Then there's Tab always coughin' and chokin'.
He gotta give up that awful smokin'.
He's not much bigger than a minute.
So haul out the casket and put him in it.
Then there's Donald who's got a long way to travel.
He drives over sand, dirt and gravel.
But he's always so strong and so gritty.
We're gonna move him up to Miramichi City.
Then there's Gerald who's tall and thin.
A midget could punch him in the shin.
He liked the little guy, so he called him Ringo.
Then him and Gerald went off to bingo.
Next there's Ulysse, the Beaverbrook Kid.
I don't know what made him do what he did.
He was so sore after the operation.
That they found him on his knees behind the Station.
The days are getting hot and sticky.
I look over the room and there sits Mickey.
He doesn't really say too much.
But watch out when he shoves in the clutch.
Then there's John, James' little brother.
He doesn't eat as much as the other.
But when dinner time comes, he'll do his best.
He'll make sure he keeps up with the rest.
Then Genevieve, the only girl in the crew.
She always knows what to do.
She sits up in front beside the teacher.
So the agitators can't reach her.
And then there's Ronnie, he came last.
They put him in the front of the class.
When breaktime comes, he's up like a shot.
He's heading for the coffee pot.
One teacher, Darlene, is short and blonde.
When she wants them to work she waves her wand. <
And if they don't listen and work too slow.
She opens the door and out they go!
Then there's the Boss, who sits at the front table.
A strong Irish lass who's willing and able.
And all in all she gives it her best.
But when class is over she has to lie down and rest.
[This story was taken with permission, from The Learning Times, published by the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick, May 1995 edition.]