One Special Day

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This poignant poem was written by Dr Barrie Penhaligan, about the excitement of Christmas Day in an Orphanage.

One Special Day

The orphanage lay dark and quiet, outside the snow lay deep
the pale moon filtered through the clouds, inside, all were asleep.

Their tousled heads on pillows lay, all waiting for the dawn
for that day they would celebrate; the day when Christ was born.

And in the hall the Christmas tree, bedecked with lights and star
with garlands, baubles, tinsel all collected from afar.

All the presents neatly packaged stands in line beside the doors
to be handed out by teacher……. ( who’s disguised as Santa Clause).

That evening in the dining hall there’s Stuffing, Turkey, Pork
and Matron yells to Martin..”Would you kindly use your Fork?”

Balloons are bursting, Trumpets rasping, screams and yells of fun
and then, at bedtime, all asleep…their happy day is done.

The orphanage lay dark and quiet, outside the snow lay deep
the pale moon filtered through the clouds, inside all were asleep

Their new toys clutched up Oh! so tight In deep, deep slumber lay
just waiting for the morning bell, to start another day.

Written by Dr Barrie Penhaligan
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Dr Barrie Penhaligan

Born in Devon before the outbreak of the Second World War, l have very vivid memories of the horror that war brought to the average man and woman in the village that l lived in. When l was 7 years old my parents moved up into the Peak District on the outskirts of Sheffield. This town in particular was the subject of nightly bombing raids by the Luftwaffe as it was the main supplier of majority of England's steel production. The austerity of such a life, the rationing for food, the disturbed nights when l woken up to spend many an hour in the local Air Raid Shelters listening to the sound of the bombs screaming down, and the noise of the buildings being hit by them all made an impression on my young memory. Educated at the local Grammar School, l went on to University to achieve a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Masters in Sociology and Psychiatry. My Father, who was a self-employed Dentist, had always dreamed that l would follow him into the business when l graduated. He was very upset therefore when l told him that l had decided to move on from University and join the Royal Air Force and make a career as a Fighter Pilot. This l did and soon reached the ranks of a Squadron Leader when a tragic accident cut short my flying career and the necessity to wear glasses meant that l couldn’t even stay in the Air Force as ground staff. With the compensation l received as a result of this accident, l was able to set myself up as a Psychologist taking in both Health Service referrals and private patients. Becoming, as did, a ‘workaholic’ soon increased my bank balance quite considerably but l paid the price for this in two failed marriages. Now, in retirement, l spend my days in a small cottage situated on the South Downs of Great Britain. Putting pen to paper so to speak is a new experience for me, but one l am looking forwards to very much and l hope that you like what l submit.

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