Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Morning Poem

Walking into school today
I was greeted by
Lawanna, Lawanda, and Chanel
at the door, saying:
I need to talk to you!
I need to talk to you!

With barely a few sips of coffee
I tried to piece together
the newest installment of
our classroom soap opera
which had all taken place
since I left them
fourteen hours earlier.

BrialikedRaynonbutRaynonlikesDejeneandBriaandDejene
usedtobebestfriendsbutnowBriasaysshegonnabangDejene
'causetheboyshelikeslikesherandthentheywentandputeveryone
else'snameinitandJazzaywhowasn'tevenhereyesterdaywellherbig
mouthisallinittooanditisn'tevenaboutherandshedidn'tevencometo
schoolyesterdaysoshebetternothavenothin'tosayaboutit'cause
ifshe'sjustgonnabringitalluptodayandshewasn'tevenherewell...

and on and on and on

By the time I get upstairs to my classroom
I've sifted through stories
to grab at a film of truth
and start planning damage control
so this is not the theme of our day.

But it's Yasmin who helps us start
with a measure of sanity.
"Can't we do like in Sahara Special and throw
our troubles in your basket before we get in the room?"

So I stand at the door with my dollar-store basket
while my boy-crazy, friendship searching, think-they're-so-tough girls
shake out their book bags
reach deep in their coat sleeves
flap out their shoes
as all those troubles
tumble down.

I catch them.
Put them high on a shelf.

Good morning.

Let the day begin.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the way you make pictures in my mind. I feel like I am right there with you listening to all the she said and she dids. Yasmin sounds like a peacemaker!(and isn't it great that she connected it to literature and came up with a solution!)You are an amazing teacher!
iocm

8:51 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

excellent solution!

i love knowing all this magic is going on above and a bit south of my classroom...maybe it will sift down through the cinderblocks...

i love knowing that my girls will come to you next year.

10:55 PM  
Blogger madness rivera said...

Oooo brilliant.

7:39 PM  

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