Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Practicing: A Poem for Today

In honor of my seventh graders
who so willingly took on my public speaking assignment.

Liam stands astride a garbage bin like a Greek God
and Nolan sits on a bench in the field.
Aurora's hair catches the breeze alongside
Sydney's spirit.  Maggie paces across the top of a bench,
the endless pristine blue of sky backdropping her animated gestures,
while Daniel perches on the swing set always looking so relaxed, so cool, so nonchalant.
Mercedes leans on a shady picnic table, her face to the quiet heavens.
A hot, early summer sun bakes our
skin while Isaac sits in the dugout
and Eli balances himself on the railing.
Their words weave into the wind
and across the distances between them.
I know I should visit each of them
spread over this campus
and offer guidance, but
their commitment their determination their enthusiasm
is palpable and
stills me to stand alone.
I cannot hear each word
specifically, but I can nearly touch the
cadence of their voices.

I am again reminded of the power
learners hold tight in their fists, unwilling to
share it with those of us who
want to control and deliberate over their every learning action.
And while it is difficult to relinquish these ideas
that we clutch as solid truths, I know that
sometimes my students create learning right in front of me. 
Sometimes they create poetry.

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