Sunday, September 30, 2007

Poetry Magic

Kendia put a Kick Me post-it
on Tia, Teya hit Kendia
after dance because
Kendia told her she had a
beady head, Tia called
Teya "ugly face"

this scrappy little trio
is always alternating
between love and hate,
all of them reading below grade level
all of them frustrated learners to some degree
carting around a dictionary sized
book of sad stories

and so it came to be
when asked to choose
their favorite poem
they picked three

one each

adding hand claps
dance moves
and a ribbon standing in
as a jump rope

maybe they should
open the United Nations
with a poem
that everyone chants together

they can take turns
thinking who makes
up the beat
and who holds the jump rope

it might just work


Saturday, September 15, 2007


I have nine more credits to my name
after this long summer
as I begin another three.

The school garden has grown wild
with neglect as I've left
the tangled growing things
to their own devices

I look back over my shoulder
wishing for a last swim
or salty beach walk
all those perfect nectarines.

This week I started school
the new faces mixed in with the old
as we try to learn each other
at the beginning of this long journey
marked by clean erasers and empty

There is so much possibility.

I promise myself I'll be endlessly patient
keep my desktop neat
find the pathway for each girl I teach
so they fall in love with reading.

By November, these intentions will probably
be knotted like our tomato vines

But this is September

I hang up the note Teya wrote me
the second day of school
the one with almost every word spelled right
and the heart at the bottom
with the word you inside.
Because I helped her through a sichuashon.

This will be my sustenance
after a long day
remind me of the possibility
of September.

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