Milo Historical Society

12 High Street - Milo, Maine

Milo High School – A Poem

mhs-sketch

M.H.S.
The tired door squeaks and groans
as I take my first step, of many days
into, a forgotten abode, one we called
M.H.S.
The old worn floor protests under my feet.
Immediately I notice, as I wander,
HER slow death.
I walk the empty hall, so strange.
glass crunches underneath, and plaster
softens my steps.
So strangely out of place, lying crushed
on the dirty floor.
It is so cold, there is no sound
Except, my feet. They ring
hollowly and echo. I stop, but not
my steps, they continue on. Drifting
on to faraway places. Probably getting
lost, confused, and absorbed
in the vast nothing.

Calendars stand limp, torn, never to
turn again, past their prime, hanging
useless, a reminder of past days,
of happier days.

The principal’s office stands mute.
no busy typewriters clack away,
no smiles. no friendly nod.
Just stark, cold, walls, that stare
back under my wondering gaze.

I walk the, dead, hall.
A limp, faded flag, one of many,
remains fastened to the wall.
I enter a big, quiet, dark, cavern,
the main room.
the once proud trophy case
stands half-open, deserted.
A championship basketball has dribbled
to the floor. I pick it up, almost afraid.
And think of all the work that
went into this ball.
and now, it sits, a forgotten antique,
in a forgotten world.
I set it on the radiator
many more hours of hard work lay broken,
on the dirty floor.

A baseball player lays in his stance,
smiling, in spite of his condition.
a basketball player, forever caught in his shot,
broken, lays on his side.
Smiling, keeping the proud M.H.S. spirit.
The only place where this spirit lives,
but struggling to exist.
Many forgotten names lay on the floor,
or hang sideways on the wall.

And then I spy the piano,
huddled in the corner, ashamed of its condition,
where friends used to gather round.
The chipped ivories could still create a feeling.
Now, there was just me,
my fingers start to ramble.
And I stop, shocked at the sound.
So distant, almost afraid to go into the air.
And my fingers play beautiful songs
I never knew before.
I look upon the deserted trophy case,
and the chipped, broken keys play a pattern.
Quite familiar, but so strange.
And then I recognize the tune.
My fingers were saying, playing,
what the whole trophy case, and its contents,
was trying to say,
what M.H.S. was trying to say to me.
I am frightened, the song rings so hollowly,
so different than it has before,
the song is alone. No proud voices,
good or bad
doing their best to show their feelings.
It drifts to the warped ceiling, and down again,
to the worn floor, then it gets lost.
Where does it go?
There are so many empty rooms to fill.
which does it choose to inhabit.
The bare walls and the forgotten victories
stare down at me.
the sun shines on a naked, peeling wall.
lighting up, where, used to shine,
a happy face, on a bright spring day.
The sunlight now wasted,
lighting, death, in a sort of way.
I wander some more,
through halls so empty, where laughter rings,
no more, where so many have passed
and called this, their own.
Should she be forgotten by all?

The stairs crack and twitch,
where hundreds of feet have trod, before me,
the well worn steps.
Dead flies, with their mangled bodies,
literally hundreds, carpet the once proud stairway.

Pictures, drawn by some unknown artist,
peel off the wall.
With no will left to stay up and be noticed,
now to be seen, by no one.
Chalk, once used to create, lies useless
on the bumpy, cracked floor. the
tired desks no longer hold active souls.
where are the souls, that put soul, in her soul.
M.H.S.,
SHE is alive, dying.
I open a door, slowly,
as if I will disturb a class,
half expecting to see an old teacher,
or receive a friendly pat on the back,
from an old pal.
I notice the obscenities written on the wall.
A forgotten notebook rests on a scarred chair.
The many notes, and scribblings,
so important, so useless, now.
Some thing creaks, as SHE, moves.
perhaps in a long sigh.
ashamed to have me see HER condition.
There are no bells. They stand cold,
silent, useless sentinels.
The many tools of education sit useless,
torn, kicked into a corner,
thrown to one side.
I walk the upstairs hall.
the longest, of my life, to see the tired walls,
the dirty windows, the dead life.
I weep for M.H.S.
Standing deserted, useless, dying,
a subject of heated discussion.
People argue, and this time SHE dies,
and with HER go cherished memories.
I look out a window,
that I had watched, in happier times.
The library, in name only, looks forlorn,
stripped of all its potential power,
ashamed, of its uselessness.

A closet hangs open, spilling its contents.
forgotten names, beings, hang on a torn list.
I feel as the last on earth.
Surely one so glorious should not end like this.
even though our new P.V.H.S. has glitter and shine,
it can never match the worn walls of M.H.S.

A torn copy of the Breeze lays on the floor
I pick it up, and see life,
lying where life now, is not.
I see happy faces, some alive, some now dead.
All, have a part a memory in this corner,
or that room, or that desk.
Many memories of many, many people,
still the empty halls,
something painstakingly etched here,
a scribble over there.
All the old teachers are there.
Where are they now? They have a part too.
I see activity caught forever in the tattered pages.
Smiling faces, LIFE!
I look at the floor and try to see
all the footsteps that have tread before me,
in this very spot,
to see the steps of these smiling faces.
I try to see the steps that were taken
by 3 that have left our midst.
3 that have now gone.
3 that left and did not come back.
3 that left to keep this all ours, together.
3 that left to protect all this,
to keep HER as they left her, always.
And now their memories haunt
these silent halls too.
I can almost see their steps now,
for some reason they shine,
maybe SHE knows, and is paying tribute.
past happiness, now the only record,
in this tattered book.
Never again will smiling faces greet these humble,
but proud walls.
I check a desk, whose carvings are those?
are they still alive. They will live forever
now.
A tooth marked pencil lies where it was kicked,
in the corner.
As I round another corner, (fearfully,)
I start, a huge bust of William Shakespeare,
stare at me, with wonder in its eyes.
An inscription glimmers at the base.
I bend to read it. “Class of 1925”
greets my eyes.
He is dead, yet his works, and glories stand,
still very much used,
this great man sill lives,
so why, must M.H.S. die.
A death worse than nature, or fire, a death of, neglect,
so that one slowly, painfully slips away.
Neglect of one that has listened to your troubles,
shared in your joys, beamed in its victories,
head held high in loss.
One that has suffered, rejoiced with you,
one that has shared 4 years of your life.
To now die of inattention,
of, from all that it has sheltered,
is a crime.
a crime not punishable by law but,
a lingering punishment,
that hangs on a conscience,
or a cherished memory.
To be suddenly be forgotten
is worse than a quick fire,
that consumes the wounds.
then there is no lingering memory of all those
that have taken advantage of your shelter,
opportunity, knowledge, and then,
to be forgotten by your friends.

Warm sunlight streams through a tired window pain,
suddenly it turns cold,
unable to penetrate the air that hangs there.
She is sad,
water marks run down her tired and peeling walls.
Tears?
As I walk, laughter imbedded (forever)?
in the walls comes out in snatches.
How I wish I could hear everyone else’s laughter.
Just one laugh, to mend HER breaking spirit.
I feel as the last person on Earth,
the last to view the end of a great country.
Did not M.H.S. have life?
A fierce pride did SHE generate in the souls
that seeded knowledge between her strong walls.
Surely one so glorious should not end like this now.
I walk away, unable to stay any longer.
the lonely strains of “M.H.S. Forever”
drift to my silent ears.
working through empty, bare rooms,
burrowing into the cracks. the music grows dim,
as it is absorbed by countless cracks,
many that have appeared, recently,
in her crumbling, worn, tired, broken,
forgotten sad, but majestic stature.
My footsteps echo hollowly again,
drifting through the whole building.
A block of plaster drops after my bewildered retreat.
I walk the carpeted, worn steps,
the carcasses squash beneath my feet.

The principals office still stands mute,
All is silent.
M.H.S. cries softly, the tears run down
her walls.
I open the door, softly. Still it squeaks,
bouncing off the old walls. I start to
turn as the door desolately shuts behind me,
I can’t I have seen enough.
I leave M.H.S.
SHE watches me walk her grounds.
I do not turn back.

“M.H.S. Forever” “Forever, we’ll honor the name M.H.S.
Forever our praises will be of M.H.S.
The hours spent in Milo High Bring memories
as time goes by. of happiness we cannot buy, wherever we go.
Forever, forever, we’ll strive
to bring her fame Forever,
we’ll honor and praise her matchless name.
We owe a debt we can repay By living honest
day by day and being true to M.H.S. forever”
These words run through my mind,
has everyone shut HER out?
Is she now just a rotten building,
an eyesore, to all those that have sung that song.

not to me.

J. Cyr

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