As is often the case, I sit here with good intent to write my end-of-term comments–a dry litany of repeated phrases dulled by. obligation–and find myself instead writing poetry, the stuff I would rather share with my students who already know that I care dearly about them; who know that I give damn about who they are, how they struggle and when they shine in their ragged testimonies of perfection. Nothing in my comments will ever be as new and real as my own journey to chart the nuances of my day.
I live in a small town interwoven with roads I thought I often traveled, but one street caught my eye today–the long dead-end behind Haley’s garage–and I realized something I missed in these twenty years of suburban life.
It reminded me that I need to keep looking and not give up my greater job of seeking, and so became this poem–a simple exercise in counting syllables, which I hope they read this more deeply than the comments I about to write about them.
The Street I Never Go Down
Some old cart path I have never traveled, 10
Houses plotted onto unknown earth 9
Plushed in idosyncrancy 8
I avoid out of habit 7
More than benign intent 6
Or childhood fear, 5
And so promise 4
These last breaths– 3
This dry, 2
Day of promise– 4
To live once more 5
In mysterious ways 6
Discerning shrouded secrets 7
Lurking like cats beneath porches, 8
The palpable breath behind drawn shades, 9
Somewhere on the street I never go down. 10