Thursday, August 17, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Finding Donnisha

I da know, Donnisha replies
to my every question.

We're in the car--
I'm her teacher
trying to understand this hard
skinny girl
with the spiky guards
around her green bud heart.

I stack questions on the dashboard.
I da know, I da know, I da know
and I want to reach
across the chasm of our lives
our worlds
our continents apart
in the same small city.
I want to tell her to blaze
out like a sunflower
in a weedy garden
on this hot summer day.

In the parking lot,
she grabs my hand.
I soften to blue

believing we can all step small
believing we can all
lean into the light.

18 Comments:

Blogger January said...

Love how you capture a great little moment among the thorns.

Thanks for sharing this poem for Poetry Thursday.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Sacred Suzie said...

Oh, this so sang to my heart. As both the young girl and the adult. Wanting to inspire, to really know you are more than just a weed. Stunning. This poem is going to stay with me. I will be back here.

10:52 AM  
Blogger bizele said...

I enjoyed your poem. It is so simple but yet so meaningful

11:51 AM  
Blogger FatCharlatan said...

Wow! So many great lines to comment on:
"...skinny girl
with the spiky guards
around her green bud heart"

Oooh--that line just captures an unruly adolescent/teenage girl!

"I want to tell her to blaze
out like a sunflower
in a weedy garden
on this hot summer day"

I can relate to the speaker of this poem...trying to get through to this young kid...and then the speaker softening "to blue" when the girl finally lets her guard down and reachers for the speaker's hand.

Really enjoyed reading this!

11:57 AM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

ecm, this gave me goosebumps it's so awesome! the way you've woven imagery and colors in to tell the story so deftly is inspiring.... and oh, the leaning into the light echoing the image of the sunflower striving toward the sun! ah!!! love it!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Kotofish said...

Is Donnisha autistic?

1:00 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

"I want to tell her to blaze~out like a sunflower~in a weedy garden~on this hot summer day."

Wonderful poem! I work with high school students, and have several teacher friends I'd like to share this with.

You have some fabulous insights. Your students are lucky to have you.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous susanna said...

Once again, you've written a beautifully accurate piece. My youngest niece went through an I Da Know stage during a weekend trip to see me. Argh! Maybe they're communicating in a secret shrugging and slouching code? Sigh, gotta love the kiddos, anyway... :)

5:27 PM  
Blogger twitches said...

You write about your students with such sensitivity. These are always my favorite poems of yours.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

This is lovely especially that last stanza. It reminded me of my hormonal teenagers back in the day.

6:22 PM  
Blogger wendylou who? said...

Hail to a fellow warrior..(teacher) in the trenches. I enjoyed this poem greatly. It's as if you just want to open their eyes..and whisper..don't wait...grow..grow now.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Madeleine said...

'believing we can all step small
believing we can all
lean into the light'....


this is a great finale. and how we can all bloom under the softness of the sun! how boundaries can blur within the light.
:)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Superhero Activist said...

There is so much here, some of it having been committed to comment already, but I can't pass this up, even if my words will be on repeat.

This poem made me want to reach out, to take hold. My younger sister is "a sunflower in a weedy garden", and every day I worry that she may lose that fire kindled in her. Despair is the greatest of injustices. But "believing we can all lean into the light" and find the sustenance for our souls to grow is just the message all children should hear.

These words, and the message contained within was so beautiful. Thank you.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Jemima said...

I've read a few of your poems during my visit, and enjoyed them a lot. I shall surely return.

Oh the power of being a teacher who cares. Oh the disappointment when all you do isn't enough. Oh how awful I see failure (my own) in a poem with a positive end. I guess believing can mean everything, really.

6:59 AM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Super poem - just super - you care and yet you don't turn it into mushy sentimental stuff - the restraint makes it all the more effective. Love it!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

you know what i am going to say.
about next year.
and my girls.
and you having them.

sigh.

you rock amazingly so.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Ceebie said...

I too loved this poem. There is beautiful sentiment and imagery throughout.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh miss emily,
this is fantastic. the imagery, the clear love for your kids that shines in it. you need to have a book published!
dana

1:55 PM  

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