Saturday, November 6, 2010

Elves secretly texting

The grouchy porch steps denotes my footsteps,
a dominant trees hangs over its offspring,
a street light powers down and winks me away,
and manic cars stop and start again in anxiety.

My bag bursts open like eggs on a sidewalk
and I fret like parents can on tomorrow’s plan.
My thoughts drag along, like hippos in mud
and I drop my keys, try to smile but only frown.

I drink coffee, one too many, and jittering
I drive daringly and skipping stop sign, and staring
I skim past a man on his bike, practically unperceiving,
I arrive, stepping out, looking up, not naming the stars.

So what? What now? Curl up into a tight ball?
Perhaps the proverbial writing is on the wall,
not graffiti, but secret elves texting last night.
Saying “Nothing is good if lost in plain sight.”

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Student Stories

A mother tells me that your child recently chose to write about his math teacher who took the time and patience to show him the meanings of math and that is what he wants his perspective high schools to know. A huge gift was laid at my feet today.

Student Stories

A new student won't step into the class the first day, still won't come in the next, writes about family kidnappings, draws me falling down and breaking my leg, but after four days, waves at me every time she sees me in the hallway. These are the small gifts that make teaching worthwhile.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Student Realities

 I love the autobiography project with my 6th graders. They have incredibly sweet, funny and powerful stories to tell. Today one student was recounting her family life in San Quentin, Baja California. Me "Oh, I know San Quentin." (I was there 25 years ago, a tiny town). She: "Really? they you probably know my tía...her store's on the corner." Such sweet surprise that actually I didn't know where her tia's store was.

Student Realities

One of my students, with a dark cloud over his head all class, came up to me at the end to tell me that he had just fought with his novia because he had given her some chocolate so she wouldn't talk to this other boy, but she went anyways.

Student Realities

Yesterday I teared up at student story of confused frustration with living in small room with mom and new baby sister in a house of strangers and his father, drowned 1.5 years ago and him wanting to play baseball once again, like he did with his father years back.

Grammar Lesson

Will it be nouns
or will it be verbs
who choose to sing
escaping their cage?

Break away!


Be the baby bird who
one evening
lifts wings, flutters,
floats up, high
flaps and reaches
feathers full,
turning and looking
to land
somewhere new,
some place wonderful.

Hold it.
Grasp the instant.

Be the noun and
be the verb

be the same, but seeking,
rolling, now alighting
on a branch,
near a flower,
rhyme or fall, 
beat in time.

Lift your song
and once again,
call and fly.