Teacher Appreciation Week

Holders of the Future

Schools are failing
Some would like
You to believe
Wisdom says
Otherwise
One only
Needs
To look
To listen
Hundreds of lives
Working together
In community
Not simply teachers
Teaching students
But people, both
Young and old
Connecting on
Common ground
One that seeks
To meet needs
Heal wounds
Tell stories
Solve problems-
So, what are schools?
They are not failures
But holders of the future-
Take a minute
To stop
To look
To listen
Not at the ones
Talking about
Schools
But the ones
Walking inside
Every
Single
Day

As a teacher, listening to political rhetoric can quickly become discouraging. Especially when I truly stop and think about all of the stories. And I am only one of many. So, I only hear some of the many.

I watch as students take home extra food. Listen as concerns are shared among staff. Notice when students receive much-needed services. And this is in addition to the love and care received from their teachers.

Each day there are tears of joy and sadness, screams of excitement and frustration. But isn’t that life? Don’t miss the bigger picture because of the voices attempting to drown it out.

The second poem was written for a recent school volunteer celebration. But it seemed fitting for my teacher friends as well. ❤️

Ready to Bloom

Imagine the
Blooming daffodil
Magically captured
In time-lapse
Photography
Instant joy in
Sunshine yellow
If only you could see
The results
Of your work
In this manner-
Nurturing hands
Thoughtful words
Freely planting
Seeds of confidence
Gently watering
Pulling weeds
Re-planting when
Necessary
Always shining
Your light…
So much light
Tending to
Each new stem
Each new bud
Each precious child
With love and patience
As they emerge
At their own pace
Right alongside you
Ready to bloom

Take a Step

You haven’t been
Very happy
Lately

Humph!
I thought
Incensed

But I know it’s true
And those words?
Spoken in love
So, why is it
Still so hard
To admit?
As if speaking
The words
Out loud
Gives them power
When actually
The opposite is true

You’re right
I’m depressed
Not simply
End-of-school
Exhausted
Though also true

Today’s remedies?
Sunshine
Fresh air
Newly planted
Flowers
Only enough
Planning to
Ease some stress
For the coming week
Small steps
Moving me
Forward
Gentle reminding
Only I can take
Those steps
But I don’t
Need to
Take them
Alone…and
Neither do you

Simply Sunday

Soft Blanket

Surrounded
By more shades
Of green than
My mind could
Possibly imagine
Attempts to match
Each shade with
A colorful
Adjective
Fall short
Given up trying
Instead, noticing
The curious way
The greens
Compliment
And contrast
One another
Their beauty
Shining against
The backdrop
Of a blue sky
Dotted with
Fluffy, white clouds-
Driving down
The highway
Wrapped
In the soft
Blanket
Of Spring

Gart and I drove to Little Rock yesterday. We are spending the weekend with my mom and dad. Such a beautiful drive this time of year. So many trees budding and wildflowers blooming along the highway.

I had the opportunity to play piano at their church this morning. Not just a solo but also a special duet with my cousin’s grandson. What a treat!

That soft blanket of spring expanded to include family and music. Long hugs, I miss you’s, and sweet melodies. ❤️

Monday Progression

Dark clouds
Of gray
Hover over
Morning drive
Yielding sleepy
Eyes and yawns
Slowing
Reactions

Sweet flakes
Of coconut
Top buttery
Smooth frosting
Adding texture
And flavor
Surprising
Taste buds

Bright rays
Of sunshine
Guide
Drive home
Radiating joy
And warmth
Erasing
Cloud memories

Lovely petals
Of white
Bloom above
Green leaves
Baring grace
And beauty
Lifting
Heavy hearts

Today, I am thankful for the sunshine. Oh, and the flowers blooming in the front yard. And coconut cake…😉

Renewal

The ground swells
From soaking in
The tears
Of so many
While the sky lowers
From the weight
Of sighs rising
In desperation
Space in between
Shrinks from
Surrounding
Pressure
Creating
A fear of
Imminent
Suffocation
What happens if the two meet?
The groundswell
And the lowering sky
I don’t think they can.
Other elements
Are at work-
Kind words
Caring smiles
Acts of courage
Delivering
Deep breaths
Of fresh air
A rebirth of hope

Many things feel heavy this week. Today, I was encouraged by the power of kindness. I also noticed our azaleas are about to bloom. Both helped lift a bit of the weight. 💛

Press Rewind

If only
It was
Possible
Press rewind
Go back in time
Prevent every
Unkind word
That left you
Confused
And alone
Block every
Raised hand
That left you
Hurt and afraid
Unable to defend
Yourself
From those charged
With your keeping-
But time cannot
Be rewound
Trauma cannot
Be erased
Does time heal all wounds?
I’m afraid some
Are too deep
If only
It was
Possible
Press rewind
Go back in time

There are stories of child abuse and neglect in the news daily. But one remains close to my heart. I have written about her before-my a former student. Here, I call her Marie out of respect for her privacy.

Marie recently turned eighteen. It seemed things were going well. Living in a good home with people who love her. And then something happened. Like a snap inside that could not be controlled.

There are no simple explanations. No simple solutions. And though this is something over which I have no control, I cannot give up hope. Hope for her future.

What’s That Sound?

I was listening to This American Life podcast on my way home yesterday. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/766/well-someone-had-to-do-something The stories were humorous, unusual, inspiring, and thought-provoking. But the two related to current events in Ukraine…well, words are hard to find.

One of the stories is about a man working to change the flow of misinformation to the people of Russia. He randomly calls individuals seeking to engage in conversation about what is happening in Ukraine. He is often met with anger, arguments, and hang-ups.

But sometimes, the person on the other end listens, even if briefly. Responding quietly, if at all. His explanation-Fear has its own sound, you know.

I have breathed
The sigh of relief
Heard pure joy
Thru the laughter
Of my children
Expressed grief
With sounds
Of sobbing
But what about fear?
How does it sound?
The thought
Brings
Only silence
Halts
My hurried mind
Until heard
In the voices
Of others
Voices afraid
The next city
Destroyed
Will be their own
Voices afraid
They may never
See family again
Even voices afraid
To hear
Or speak
The truth
Others work
To forever
Keep hidden-
Listen…
Do you hear
The sound
Of their fears?

Simply Sunday

More Than Enough

Tiny feet

Not typically

What I would

Notice about you

And yet, there

You were

Quickly crossing

The busy street

In front of me

I slowed a bit

Smiled as you

Made it to safety

I wonder why you didn’t fly?

After all, you do have wings

Yet, for a reason

Unknown to me

You chose

Not to use them

Perhaps the wind

Was too strong

The distance

Too short

No matter

Your resolve

Shone thru

With each tiny step

I suppose

Sometimes

Tiny steps

Are more

Than enough

Somewhere Between

The morning sky
Matched my mood
Midnight blue?
Hard to tell
Before sunrise

Glance to the right
A tiny streak of light
Somewhere between
Pale pink and white
Off in the distance

Glance to the left
Both me and the sky
Somewhere between
Asleep and awake
Moving forward

Traces of hope
One seeking
One displaying
As darkness
Transformed
To daylight