Sunday, May 20, 2007

Baltimore Stories

It has been one of those weeks where I have been overwhelmed by what my kids deal with on a daily basis. I continue to admire their tenacity and perseverance and wonder why it sometimes feels so helpless to be and adult without any answers.

Baltimore Stories

Two weeks ago
a car flipped Teya
off her bike
in her pink nightgown
when she dashed
out without checking

One week ago
she shared in morning circle
I don’t have a mommy anymore
she’s in prison

On Friday
she was in court
to testify against her brother’s friend
because she witnessed him with drugs
she was back in school by eleven
my granma was fussin’ with the judge
she confided she don’t want me talkin’

I don’t want her talking either

But this is just one brick
in the crumbling walls
criss-crossing the city
only a mile from the
shine of the Inner Harbor

This is just one daughter
of the city
one voice of the small multitude

Teya lives three short blocks
from my house
but I could live on the moon
the milky way
resting between us



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11 Comments:

Blogger flutter said...

What a beautiful smile.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Dick Jones said...

Powerful words - the simplicity & directness of this hits home.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Deezee said...

okay, simply amazing. potent and powerful. ah, to be a child and an adult in this world..

1:25 PM  
Anonymous hel said...

Seeing her smile I too wish, from the bottom of my heart, that I had an answer.

I am glad you are there.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous hel said...

And if you like I'll be happy to mail you my essay on English as a global language.

I can't seem to find your email address so please send it to me again: helena(dot)wagener(at)dariel(dot)co(dot) za

Hope the gardens are well

3:28 PM  
Blogger angela said...

such heartbreak.
your love and dedication to teaching is inspiring. thank you.

3:31 PM  
Blogger jen said...

this is just one daughter...

yes. and the weight of that is suffocating. and yet you fill it with the light.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Cate said...

I love your poetry. I work at a city school (though not quite as "city" as yours) and you give so many a children a voice. Your students are blessed to have you!

10:51 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Great find I have stumbled across here. I will definitely return. I taught in baltimore at Steuart Hill Elementary School during the summers while I was in college... when i asked some of my kids why it was they got themselves up in the morning to come to school, they told me it was because they were hungry.

5:39 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

that glorious buddha smile beaming in the face of all of life's weighty complexity... wow! i'm amazed and inspired. i'm sure your contributions are part of what helps this young girl deal with this reality. brava to you both!
snow

12:59 AM  
Blogger January said...

Teya's smile is amazing. I think with you in her corner, she'll be just fine.

11:44 PM  

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