Handwriting is not taught today in schools
as it was in my young schooldays
when cursive swirls were supposed to flow
from fountain pens – but my letters were slanted
wrongly and teachers criticized these early words.
4 by Jennifer Kosuda
Scribbled on desk, envious avenues of fear
Scribed upon the off, white begging board
To be heard, lessons as minutes lingered
Upon hallways aligned with weeping, awaited weapons
Fired down a domino of books, ammunition wasted.
Taught to sit, anxious anticipation of future
Inscribed upon the tablets, signed to soar
To be learned, spray painted curtains, opened
Upon hallways covered with destiny’s awaited dance
Empowered own hands upon that very board.
Backpack in bed over packs with innocence’s visions
Sleep escapes me that endless night before
Brand new outfit by mom, covers hope
Finally pretty enough finds forever a friend
At just six, dreams to be loved.
Pleated skirt rolls up the still present day-dream
Sleep haunts when time comes for night
New outfit lost to patterns on repeat
An indecisive mirror knows many friends, but
At seventeen, dreams still to be loved.
3 by Margaret R. Sáraco
June Ramping Up
Get them ready for their math final
Score them overnight, quickly calculate grades, worry
about class placements, attend meetings, workshops, meetings
Say goodbye to students, families, staff, retirees
Pack up room, lock the door, crash.
That’s your teacher in the swimming pool
Reading books, writing in a journal, that’s
your teacher strolling, no, power walking, running
There she is once more, smiling, laughing
In the restaurant glances over, waves hello.
It’s August and You Never Know Who You Will See at the Pool
What?! Who is that in a bathing
suit? Dripping from the pool? Does she
see me? Remember me? I failed her
final, and truth, I didn’t study either
hello there, she smiles, and we chat.
2 school poems by Patricia Thomas
An End Creates A Beginning
The room is empty of personal belongings
Files thrown away, lesson plans all retired
Students will arrive, find a new teacher
The change either welcome or unfair surprise
July feels relaxed and full of dreams.
The room has many books, but is
Missing perfected lesson plans and helpful files
Students entering her room will find me
August feels uncertain, though full of promise
The first page of a new book.
and 2 more ronkas for summer
A Summer Afternoon
The lawn is mowed and fresh smelling
Chores completed with stolen minutes between thunderstorms
Thick grey clouds overhead, then the winds
Increase speed to reveal hidden blue sky
A mosquito tries to bite and fails.
The beach read ends after all three
Women join a new man before September
Greek tycoon, young widow, delightful old gentleman
Their stories are preposterous, predictable, yet occupy
A rainy afternoon at a beach house.
Refuge from the confusion of home life.
A place where everything was scheduled, disciplined.
The comforting predictability of seven normal hours
of being expected to be only thirteen,
before I returned to early adulthood responsibilities.
After the dreaded Algebra and Chemistry when
we would talk music, read Rolling Stone,
eye the girls and share our fantasies
about them and the near far future
forgetting equations unbalanced, dreams never to happen.
More guns in a school. This time
thousands of miles away in a place
we imagine full of violence and terror
but is probably more like your hometown
than anyone of us dares to think.
The title for this poem was seen this week on a protest sign in the aftermath of militants entered a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, opening fire on the students with automatic weapons and detonating multiple explosive devices. The attack killed 132 children and nine staff members, and another 120 were injured. All of the gunmen were also killed. The Pakistani Taliban, claiming responsibility, said the assault on the children was in retaliation for attacks on their own families in North Waziristan, where the Pakistani Army has been carrying out an offensive against several militant groups.