Fade Out

March 24, 2010

Fade out.

Scalp tingles. Pulse quickens. Skin ripples.

Pupils dilate.

Spine stiffens. Muscles constrict.

Fingers clench.

Adrenalin rushes.

Hands strike.

Bone crunches.

Body falls.

Sweat pours.

Fade in.


Mistress Nic

March 19, 2010

Twenty-four years together.

Daily visits with you.
Sneaking around behind my back.
Trips out to meet you.
Thousands of dollars wasted on you–
Money that could have financed
Our dream vacation
Or brand new furniture
(Instead of the crap we have now)
Or paid for our kids’ braces
Maybe even a few college credits.

Well, bitch, guess what?

He finally dumped you.
It took him awhile
and a lot of pleading from me and the kids
But, he chose life with us
Instead of a living hell with you.

So, get out — You disgusting piece of filth.

He (We) doesn’t want you around.
Dirtying up his life or
Ruining  his health anymore.

He’s not falling
for your tricks anymore either
or your instant allure.

He’s done with meeting you
for morning coffee
or an evening beer
or a quickie
after our family meals.

I (We) win.

He’s mine (OURS) now.

You (YOU) lose.

Take your poison elsewhere.

A Blind Man’s Vision

March 9, 2010

Note: this is not my piece of poetry. It belongs to an 8th grade student of mine, who was in my class last year. He wrote this in response to the prompt: “Describe colors to a blind man.” When he read it aloud, it took my breath away and a collective gasp was heard from the audience. Remember, he is only 13.

I found a blind man one day while walking in the park.
he stopped me and asked, “What is color?”
I stared at his blank eyes and spoke,
“The deep sound of a trumpet is red,
the gurgle of water from a spout is a light blue sky.
The dark moans of a funeral is black,
and the rustle of a tree’s leaves is green.
The cold touch of frozen metal is gray,
the raindrops falling all around you is a purple haze,
and the dull side of a blade scraping across your skin is yellow.”
He was quiet, and as I stood he turned to face me and said,
“I have heard and felt all those things before, and never given them a thought,
but now I can see the colors, plain as day.”
I smiled as I walked away.

(PS: He also took top honors at the district’s recent Power of the Pen competition.)


March 7, 2010

I long to wallow in the dirt

It’s my favorite place to go.

I want to feel my fingers move

And work my magic hoe.

I love to plant the tiny seeds

Then wait to see them bloom.

A couplet here,

A free verse there.

Begins to fill my room.

Role Models Come in All Sizes

March 6, 2010

I was fully prepared for the accolades I would receive from teaching. I was well on my way towards patting myself on the back and crowing “What a GREAT teacher you are, Nerd!” while blowing smoke up my own backside. Two years of teaching almost behind me, and so far, everything I’ve done has been met with praise and glory and…blah, blah, blah. Enough of that–here’s the reality of working with children — they are great equalizers when it comes to feelings of self-importance.

Nothing deflates an over-sized ego faster than dealing with the untimely death of a child. No, not my own child — I wouldn’t be writing this post with such reckless flippancy. Besides, if it were my 13- year old child who just succumbed to complications from his 6-year battle with leukemia, I’d be on the way to the nearest psych ward, hoping for a voluntary psychiatric hold.

But today, as I write this, there is a family here who is losing their child to the battle. Most likely, right this very minute they are gathering at his bedside, holding his hands, and praying one last time as a cohesive, family unit. Then, his younger sisters will leave as they see their brother alive for the very last time. And this is what is tearing me apart.

I met this family last year, when I was his teacher. Despite weekly chemo treatments, horrible side effects and general feelings of “ick”, he still managed to earn straight As and complete all his work at home. His parents insisted he maintain as “normal” a life as possible — going to school, doing his homework, taking his tests on schedule, etc., etc. His chemo treatments were always scheduled on Friday, so he’d have the weekend to catch up on homework (between bouts of nausea, I bet).  I could tell where he was in his treatments based upon the amount of red fuzz he had on his head — the less hair, the more dosage of chemo he would have in him. But, never, ever, did he lose ground in my class. His parents insisted upon it, and he made it happen.

He moved onto eighth grade this year, so I lost him as a student. But, his little sister took his place at a desk in my 6th grade room this year. And, much like he was, she never lets her brother’s health situation get in the way of her schooling. Every day she comes to class, ready, eager and willing to participate. She eagerly reads out loud, answers questions about grammar, bops up to be the first person to share her writings — everything that happens in my class room, she embraces enthusiastically and with such focus and attention. All the while knowing when she goes home at the end of the day, her parents will be at the hospital, hoping for a miracle for her older brother.

I’ve always known the world needs positive role models. I get so disgusted when I hear that people with questionable morals and values are being idolized in the press and put on pedestals for the world to “ooh” and “aw” over, when all they’ve really done is just figure out a way to act obnoxious and foolish and get away with it.

They aren’t role models to me. The role models — the ones who deserve to be placed on a pedestal, are the ones like the family I’ve met, who are going to be burying their 13-year old son and brother shortly. Through this horrific battle, they have remained close, strong in their faith and stoic in their deeds.

They are my role models. They have taught me more than I could ever teach them. What a great way to keep my ego in check.

Goodbye, Seth.