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Graduation
 A poem by Sharon Forsdyke
 
Cathedral bathed in light, with hopeful air,
As red-robed Usher bows to offer silent prayer.
 
One for every Graduation lays in wait-
A crested programme bearing names in State.
 
The Usher pauses in the Nave, with time to spare,
On way to West Door post, quite unaware,
 
That first time open of the door brings sun,
As frost-stealing breath glides across the stone.
 
The snaking queue is drawn and soon ensnares
Guests loathe to give up tickets - none to spare.      
 
Calm words each Usher gives to mark each step,
For heels ready, on that sharp descent.
 
Voices rise, blend in lofty organ air
As each entourage waits patiently, prepared.
 
Light from sun makes dappled work of stone in shade,
And Ushers contemplate Life's choices made.
 
Welcome given, mid pomp and full fanfare
And V.C.'s speech, and Proctor then declares
 
The moment for each name to ascend stage
In Rite of Passage, Graduand to Graduate.
 
Then oak full opens, Chester stops to stare,
As newly graduated spill out everywhere.
 
Applause rings out and echoes clear, like bells,
And every beating heart with pride full, fills.
 
My heart it swelled to know that their welfare
Is still at the heart of Chester's scholar care.
 
Three years of toil at studies, maybe four
Rewarded by triumphant exit through that door.
 
As they met sun bouncing off cold blasting air
Shielding eyes to weave the cobbled square,
 
They left not just to make a living but a life
For every test, exam and mark they'd strived.
 
And in that moment, I was proud to share,
For I had seen it all as Usher there...
 
They owned this day alone - it was their time,
But that day, I rolled back 30 years to mine.
 
Cathedral bathed in light, with promised air,
As Cap and Gown all bow and offer silent prayer.