Childish Memories

Poem by George Bernard Shaw

It all comes back to me down the ages,
A child awake listening to the tick of a clock.
My troubled mind my fitful rages,
The sound of a key turning in a lock.
Twenty boys in a dormitory large,
Beds neatly arranged in rows.
A woman vicious and in charge,
Dealing out deftly savage blows.
Tears running silently down my cheeks,
No peace for an unhappy mind.
Terror that lasted unending weeks,
With never a word that was kind.
From the age of three until I was eight,
Violence ruled my unhappy days.
I was ever in a stage of hate,
With my mind turning in a terrible craze.
I was classified as a troublemaker,
Me a child mental grim and upset.
Some one to love me there was no taker,
I was not the young boy to pet.
At the age of nine war was declared,
I was evacuated to a peaceful town.
For a family life I was not prepared,
And my hatred let me once more down.
I was placed with families that were kind,
My upbringing had left me suspicious.
I could not regain my peace of mind,
So I remained a child quite vicious.
Then came the day that I was kindly received,
Made welcome in a family that was normal.
It was here that I finally perceived,
That love was something not formal.
I settled down at last my mind at rest,
I enjoyed the privilege of having a home.
Here in this family I gave of my best,
I had found that love is not just foam.