Teacher Poet: Advice Upon Visiting her Classroom
Framed diploma and teacher’s license,
taped on the institutional wall,
these credentials face the stars.
The star-struck welcome board posts a message:
But will these stars fade, fall into the waste basket?
Hand sanitize the room,
cherish the stars like “Hope
is the thing with feathers,” says Emily Dickinson.
But the Dickinson banner is losing some of its red-colored shapes,
while it looks up to the battery-operated clock.
Pandemic time ticks
like paper-made dreams sleep, stashed away, on file.
Pull these dreams out of the file cabinet.
Spread them like the real peacock feathers,
retrieved from the farm.
They fly high on the dry erase black board.
The eyes of the feathers point to the sky,
chalk and eraser ready for pick up.
Room keys dangle on noodled paper chains.
Tasks crumple up into paper sacks of worn masks
teacher’s desk pristine,
no papers in sight, all things remote,
like a train of passengers stuck in empty box cars,
or sailors stuck at sea for seasons,
That’s not for you.
Flag the muse.
Contact trace your purse and chair.
Lie back to embrace silence
like smelling wood,
nose pinned to the pages of a new book
when you first open it.
beneath your kn95.
Pick up a yellow legal pad,
number 2 pencil.
On your mark, get set.
Back to the Roots
My heart aches
to be like a tree swinging
its willowy branches in faint, misty air.
After a storm, my tree travels
like a rainbow stretches
its pastel green, yellow, peach
hues across the sky.
My tree, its foliage free to change,
needs less sunlight,
embraces the sunset years,
stops the food-making work production
of the leaves’ younger years,
but still finds the courage
to fortify a solid trunk.
The tree lets go,
knows a peace
with living and dying.
It releases its red-orange-yellow leaves
that once showcased beauty.
My tree sings like a singer
in an orchestrated symphony,
the melody of the swan song
as the leaves drop deep
into fertile soil, make a path,
new seeds to grow.
I no longer need
a mustard seed to grow.
My interior tells me,
the time has come to shed the exterior,
like the full-blown tree knows
it must give up its centerpiece
cornucopia, its fruits and flowers,
so that the tree returns to its roots.
The moon has gone to bed,
and I am dreaming of stillness,
a time of waking up
to the gift of Sunrise.
My internal clock tells me
when Sun touches
the earth, streaks
its burnt-orange stripe
across the sky at dawn,
72 minutes before Sunrise.
like a voice of an old friend
calling me on my cell phone to say
Sunrise draws me into its orb
like a handwritten invitation,
beautifully stroked with the penmanship
of accents and swirls.
I long for mornings like this
when I exhale a welcome sigh.
Sometimes Sunrise appears
after a few hours of 3 am turmoil,
persons and places I remember
as a time of danger or opportunity.
These containers of memories leave me
a little dazed, unsure of my footing.
I really want Sunrise to appear.
Sunrise announces its presence
through my white-lace curtains,
dainty enough to surrender
to the ray of the new day.
I go over to my bedroom window,
roll back the curtains, take a peek
because I do not take Sunrise for granted.
If I have the extra time
to wait for stillness,
I go out onto my open front porch,
feel Sun nourish every living thing
like a prayer prayed back to silence.
Sun streams into my heart
like a flicker of light fans
its own flame. One solitary light
beams bright before the busy pace of the day begins.