This one makes me miss the days of teaching creative writing. I tried to use the students’ writing time to write myself. Partly to know the challenges the kids were going through; partly just to write. Not on the state test, creative writing. But it was fun to see the kids create amazing stuff. Makes me jealous of the art & music teachers.
I look up from my work.
I’ve been crossing out lines
and writing new ones
and kind of forgot where I was –
on my stool – perched above
a classroom half-full of
high school students.
Some sit near one another,
others alone. Their heads down,
pens and pencils move across paper.
Hands on faces – cheek, chin, forehead.
One chews a fingernail.
If you can hear thinking,
it sounds like this.
But this isn’t how it starts.
It starts always with questions,
questions I think I just answered.
“Sooooo . . . What are we supposed to be doing?”
A little chatting as I scan the room,
quietly reminding my students
why we’re here.
Then, like little girls at a slumber party,
they begin to drop off.
The sea of blue, black and
gray hoodies scribble silently.