The Company of Teachers

On the day before spring break,
colleagues prepare
for a hectic day of instruction.

Spring weather,
combined with the upcoming break,
means students bouncing
chomping at the bit.

Next door,
I hear two teachers share a laugh.

Across the hall,
a serious student discussion ensues.

Down the corridor,
three teachers compare notes.

On the stairs,
a teacher comforts a crying student.

In the office,
yet another teacher greets parents.

There is no question
the pandemic changed teaching,
perhaps forever.

the heart
of every teacher I know,
puts students first.

I am honored
to be in this company.

Knit One, Purl One

Inside a clear box
in my storeroom
sits a small ivory sweater
hand knit when I was born.

Petite pink roses
dot the collar
and pearly buttons
adorn the front.

In my memory,
my grandmother’s knitting needles
moved constantly —
while watching tv
or chatting with family.

The needles are now mine.
You see,
knitting was woven
into my DNA
the day I was born.

On various needles,
I have
a cowl for my sister,
a hat for my son,
a scarf for my spouse.

For me,
magic resides in
needles and yarn.

Live Boldly

We have a limited number
of days here on earth.

This thought struck me
as I walked out into
a sparking spring morning.

Wispy clouds dust
a peach-colored sky.

Robins rest on tree branches,
and daffodils dot the border garden.

No matter what the day holds,
I know setting the right intention…
can make all the difference.

Perhaps I can tattoo
a reminder on my brain?

Maybe I need a daily nudge
to help me live
each day
to overflowing?

maybe I just need to
look up from my life
to see all I will be missing.

Teeming With Life

The tiny black beetle
hurdles across the walkway,
craving the safety
of the tall verdant grass.

I set my book down
to watch his progress
on a warm spring evening.

I notice
a line of ants marching
toward food
or perhaps returning home.

A glance up reveals
small gnats dancing
in the sinking sunlight.

the space
for quiet reading
has become a bustling metropolis.

Even in the calm of dusk,
I am reminded
our world teems
with buoyant life.

Capital Beauty

On a trip
into the city yesterday
I took the scenic route –
along the river
near the monuments.

My mind was elsewhere
as I crossed the 14th Street Bridge,
so I was taken aback
by the heavy Saturday traffic.

The cherry blossoms.

In 1912,
the people of Japan
gifted cherry trees
to the capital city
as a sign of friendship.

hundreds of trees
ring the tidal basin.

On this beautiful Saturday,
I appreciated the slowdown
as I watched couples pose,
families stroll,
and cherry boughs
dip toward their reflections
in the still water.

Want To Understand Teachers? Visit After School

Across the hall,
three eighth grade boys
confront a pile of late work
in math, science, geography.
The English teacher
who welcomed them with snacks
does her best to explain
a tricky equation.

This tireless teacher
knows life is tough for teens
and sometimes a little help
makes all the difference.

Another teacher
joins in —
she teaches none of them,
but teaching is what she is here for.

When covalent bonds
becomes the topic,
the two English teachers
go in search
of a science teacher.

Down the hall
and around a corner,
a science teacher is hosting
six students for help.
She orders pizza on Thursdays
because she knows kids get hungry.

Science teacher to the rescue!
Twenty minutes later,
everyone understands
a new scientific concept.

Scattered throughout the building
on any given day,
this scene repeats itself.

do not give up.
Teachers believe
in the brilliance
of students.
And, teachers know
learning is not limited
to school day hours.

How To Become A Poet

Notice as the round glow
of the flashlight beam
alights on the small spring peeper,
the perfect green of its back,
a shine and shimmer
like new grass heavy with morning dew.

Watch as the tiny frog
fills its throat
with air,
stretching the thin skin
until you fear it might pop.

Listen as the small creature,
no bigger than a thimble,
pours forth a note
so pure,
so lyrical
that you stand mesmerized.

leave the spring peeper
at least tonight
things are right with the world.

The Genius of a Pencil

At heart,
a pencil is
solid graphite. 
But how to keep hands clean
and words clear?

Wood pulped from trees
can protect the smudgeable core.
splinters are real.

Next comes paint.
A bright sunny yellow
will help coax ideas
out the of the most stubborn minds.

And, a hexagonal shape
Makes grip easy.

But what about mistakes?
A small eraser
affixed to the top
eliminates worry
and encourages

Never underestimate
the power of the pencil.

*inspired by Project Zero’s Creative Hunt thinking routine.