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Poem: These Four Letters

By Dr Debra Bartholomew

These four letters

Four letters define my fate

CAPE/CSEC examinations

June 2021, the start date


The date, June 2021, I hear the bulletin

And my mind begins to churn

Will I be sucked into the eddy?

My thoughts begin to burn


To burn, they’re racing now, at top speed

Faster than the speed of thought

Will all my hard work, all my studying

Will it be all for naught?


For nought, this Covid-19 lockdown

Has created such anxiety

I’m caged, confined, locked away

And it saps all my energy


My energy, to learn, to understand

To think and more, it’s true

I’m scared, will my brain even work?

Can I do an MCQ?


An MCQ, yes and more it will be worse

Worse as in Paper 2s, 3s, essay writing

So to have to choose A, B, C, or D

Is really more of a blessing


A blessing? Ha! More like a curse

The curse of this wretched lockdown

It’s literally turned the whole world on its head

And my world upside down


Upside down, right side up

It’s been a tough journey

No physical school but learning still

Routine, now that’s the key


The key to staying on the path

But will I really do well?

Will I be successful in exams?

Only time will tell


Tell me Mom, was it like this

This tough when you were at school?

I placed my hand on his shoulder and said,

Son, I’ll teach you a golden rule


A golden rule to understand

Especially now as times are rough

As you glance upon your mirrored self

Tell him that you’re enough


You are enough, enough I tell you

No exam can tell you thereof

Four letters are important, yes that’s true

But the greatest of these is LOVE.


Wishing all students writing exams all the best! Rooting and praying for all of you!