Miss Rhona

Tara Drayton

Photography: Laura Skinner

…………………

Miss Rhona rocked my cradle –
I thought I’d been aged more –
But the world I was born into
Was nothing like before.

Miss Rhona was a wonder
Like none had ever known,
And though we never saw her face
Our lives were all her own.

I’d thought Miss Rhon’ a fairy,
And perhaps I wasn’t wrong,
Because she brought sweet mischief
Only children heard as song.

She came up with the quaintest games,
Sprung from a pixie’s heart,
And nothing made her more amused
Than when we played apart,

And Rhona winked her nose to say,
“My dears, no need for school!”
Instead we learnt from virtual desks
That “family” was the rule.

So we strung high our artworks
And bright colours lit each street,
And out we’d pour to clap and cheer
The heroes we’d all meet.

And don’t forget our peekaboo –
The strangest sight to see!
Where every day a half-face world
Would peer back down at me.

But, one day, things were different:
The half-faced play had gone;
As too the rainbows and the joys
We’d come to share as one.

I missed Miss Rhona’s follies
Which would dance through all my mind,
And hours at home, and kindnesses
We now had left behind.

I finally concluded we
Were stronger when apart,
And, lonely in my dull regrets
I took my brand-new start.

But now I’ve lived my old-world life
And here I’m at my end –
Lying helpless, craving only
Kindness and a friend.

Then who appears, but Rhona!
Outside my hallway door,
Before she rests beside my bed
As lovely as before,

For all her cuffs are rainbow-tipped,
And, though her cloak is black,
She, smiling, clasps my hand to hear
“Miss Rhona, you came back!”

“My child, of course I’m back for you!
For we both shared such glee:
That world awaits, we can again –
Say, won’t you come with me?”