In the morning,

there are some who arrive in their winter jackets;

the arms are stretched and softened with ware, the cuffs are a permanent

stain of grey. 

They carry the smell of last night’s dinner, and the static of leaving the pillow

too soon.

Some wear shorts in the snow, their rail-like legs shivering towards the

temperate classroom where they will soon be wakeful when they warm.

Many are lumberers, 

unable to move within the space they know. They are foals newly felled to

the ground, all knees and elbows commanding contact with the brain. 

Some walk with the emboldened confidence borrowed from a baseball

field, the soccer pitch, or an end zone. Their eyes are tired; their bodies are


They are hungry and hungrier;

they would pull up the grass from the roots if they could.

Mask straps encircle and change the form of their ears; 

just the slight drop from an unfamiliar nose, and their blanketed faces show dimples that

couldn’t have been guessed. 

There are braces, and pimples, and smiles to match the eyes we thought we

could read. 

There are scars we didn’t know were there. 

They are lucid and nebulous at once–

sated and decanted within the same moment.

Funny, insecure, sad, curious, hurt.


The building absorbs their stories.

Each classroom wall is thick and sound with their changing voices, 

and over the taupe sameness of lockers

every narrow hall echoes the perfect frailty and difference of their youth. 


  1. I hate to be redundant, but YOU TOTALLY NAILED IT! I realize strong poetry stems from personal experience, but what creates the magic is the poet’s ability to express sentiment that resonants with people at their core – even if they don’t see the message coming! .

    You are so beautifully complex, intelligent, empathic, and just plain ‘real’. I am so lucky to share an insider’s view as your friend and colleague.

    Thank your for sharing you poet’s voice.

    1. Thank you, Susan! I feel equally lucky to travel this journey with you in and out of the classroom. Thank you for reading!

Comments are closed.